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Wigan Warriors 6-24 Warrington Wolves

Wigan (6) 6
Tries: Finch Goals: Charnley
Warrington (12) 24
Tries: Blythe, J Monaghan 2, Myler Goals: Hodgson 4


Joel Monaghan
Wolves winger Joel Monaghan took his tally of tries for the season to seven

Leaders Warrington went three points clear at the head of Super League XVI as they won the battle of the top two, outplaying previously unbeaten Wigan.

Joel Monaghan ran in two tries, while fellow winger Matty Blythe and scrum-half Richie Myler got the others, all converted by full-back Brett Hodgson.

Brett Finch scored on his debut for the champions with a first-half try.

But Warrington were worth the win as Michael Maguire's men suffered a first Super League defeat since September.

Although Wigan are unbeaten away from home in over a year, they have now lost seven of their last 12 matches at the DW Stadium.

The Warriors went into this clash on the back of four consecutive victories but they met their match in a Warrington side who had humilated Harlequins in a club record 82-6 win last week.

Wigan had England international Sam Tomkins back following his one-match ban for punching, replacing Amos Roberts at full-back. And Australian Finch was finally handed his Wigan debut after recovering from neck surgery, partnering Thomas Leuluai in the halves for his first competitive match in over six months.

But they were outshone at stand-off by Warrington's Welsh wizard Lee Briers, who tormented Wigan all night with his crisp passing and accurate kicking game.

And, with skipper Adrian Morley fit to start for the first time in four matches, Tony Smith's rampant Wolves bullied and harassed Wigan from the opening whistle.

They took just seven minutes to go in front after Andy Coley gave away a penalty for his high challenge on Myler.

Adrian Morley
Adrian Morley is held by two Wigan men on his first start in four matches

The bold Wolves opted to take more than just the two points by running it, sweeping a superb move down the line which saw Hodgson send Blythe in at the corner.

But Wigan were level on 21 minutes when Finch's clever little grubbber kick came back off the post, and he was alert enough to scoop up the rebound and slide over, Josh Charnley adding the extras.

But Warrington were back in front 11 minutes later when, from Briers' long pass, Blythe fed Monaghan in at the corner.

After an ugly flare-up just before the break, feelings were still running high when Warrington extended their lead eight minutes into the second half.

From Briers' high bomb, Monaghan got the better of his jump with Charnley and span over for his second try - the Aussie winger's fifth of the season.

Trailing 18-6, Wigan thought they had halved the deficit when Ryan Hoffman went over - but it was controversially chalked off for a knock-on.

And instead it was Warrington who nailed their hosts when home skipper Sean O'Loughlin's long pass was snapped up by Myler, who went 80 metres for a stunning interception try.


Wigan coach Michael Maguire:
"It was a tough old night for the boys unfortunately. We probably went away from what we are capable of doing throughout the game but full credit to Warrington. They turned up and attacked and defended very well tonight.

"They put us off our game but we will learn a lot from that one.

"Brett Finch was a bit rusty at times with it being his first game. It was a tough game to be thrown into when we are a bit short in the halves but he knows what is expected in Super League now."

Warrington coach Tony Smith:
"It was a good performance. We are trying to improve all the time but there are some aspects of our game we want to improve on.

"It wasn't all our own way. Wigan threw a fair bit at us and we managed to keep them out.

"We were there in numbers and willing to make sure they didn't get the ball down except for their try off a kick."


Wigan: S Tomkins; Goulding, Marsh, Carmont, Charnley; Finch, Leuluai; Coley, McIlorum, Prescott, Hansen, Hoffman, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Lima, Roberts, Mossop, Tuson.

Warrington: Hodgson; Evans, Bridge, Blythe, J Monaghan; Briers, Myler; Morley, M Monaghan, Carvell, Grix, Westwood, Harrison.
Replacements: Higham, Clarke, Wood, Solomona.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (Toulouse).

Attendance: 21,056.



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