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Warrington 39-12 Wigan

Warrington (25) 39
Tries: M Monaghan 2, King, Briers, Clarke, J Monaghan
Goals:
Bridge 7 Drop Goals: M Monaghan

Wigan (6) 12
Tries: Deacon, O'Loughlin
Goals:
Richards 2

Michael Monaghan
Michael Monaghan took his Super League try tally for the season to six

Warrington put themselves within reach of lifting the league leaders' shield as they cashed in on Challenge Cup winners' Wigan's post-Wembley hangover.

Brothers Michael and Joel Monaghan ran in half of Warrington's six tries between them as, after a club record 12 straight wins, Wigan simply ran out of steam at the Halliwell Jones.

Matt King, Lee Briers and Jon Clarke crossed for the Wolves' other tries.

That leaves Warrington needing to win at Hull next Friday to take the title.

Wigan had won on their last three visits to the ground, but Tony Smith's side took the Warriors apart when they won 24-6 at the DW Stadium back in March.

And another deserved victory for Warrington, inspired by skipper Adrian Morley's return after two months out, earned them a much-prized Super League double over Wigan, to leave them just one win away from their first league title since 1955 when they head for the KC Stadium next Friday night.

Just eight days on from Wigan succeeding Warrington as Challenge Cup winners at Wembley, it was an ill-tempered game.

And Wigan now have potential disciplinary worries hanging over England internationals Gareth Hock and Sam Tomkins.

Hock was placed on report for punching Warrington forward Ben Harrison but the Rugby Football League's match-review panel will also consider an allegation of gouging arising from the same incident.

The panel will also scrutinise the way Tomkins used his boot to try and prevent Warrington's try by hooker Clarke midway through the second half.

The Warriors did responded with a try in each half from Paul Deacon and Sean O'Loughlin, but it was still Warrington's biggest win over Wigan in over 50 years.

Admittedly, Warrington got all the breaks in an early blitz that saw them crush Wigan with four tries in the space of a quarter of an hour.

King could easily have been penalised for a push on Josh Charnley as he tried to get on the end of Briers' bomb on 10 minutes.

But, with no challenge from Charnley as the Wigan winger stumbled, King was free to dive over for the opening try.

Then, just three minutes later, Briers got lucky with a kick that rebounded into his path, allowing the wily Welsh stand-off to scamper in under the posts.

In the absence of the injured Brett Hodgson, Chris Bridge landed both conversions.

And Bridge still had two more successful kicks to come in quick succession when Warrington hooker Monaghan stole in for two tries.

Monaghan both began and finished the quick-handling move that brought his first before then cashing in on Wigan forward Harrison Hansen's ill-timed spill.

Wigan needed a response and they got one from their most senior player Deacon, who raced in to open their account 12 minutes from half-time, Pat Richards adding the extras.

But the elder of Wire's two experienced Monaghan brothers flushed out any hopes of a Warriors comeback with a drop goal three minutes from the break.

And, although Wigan never eased up, they made far too many errors as two more second-half Warrington tries secured victory.

Warrington substitute Clarke sneaked over close to the posts on the hour, Bridge adding the conversion after having sparked the first of two major mass dust-ups with his retaliation on Tomkins.

And, six minutes later, Joel Monaghan's stunning 90-metre interception try put the lid on victory, Bridge landing his fifth conversion.

O'Loughlin pulled another try back eight minutes from time, Richards improving. But, after Ryan Atkins' try was ruled out for a deliberate knock-on, Bridge had the final word with a late penalty - to make it seven kicks out of seven.

Victory gives Warrington impetus going into the play-offs, assuming that Smith's side now finish the job at Hull next Friday night, leaving Wigan almost certainly bound for a play-off semi-final derby date with St Helens - the team they beat at Old Trafford to win the Grand Final a year ago.

POST-MATCH REACTION

Warrington coach Tony Smith:

"We were pretty good, defensively in particular.

"Even when they had us under the cosh, we scrambled well.

"They were probably a bit off their game today.

"But I'm not going to feel too sorry for them. They've got a nice piece of silverware up there."

Wigan coach Michael Maguire:

"It's a very disappointed changing room. They know that's not the standard we set each week. It's definitely brought us back to earth.

"We had a good week's training. We did everything we normally do, But full credit to Warrington. They came at us very quick and at times showed that hunger.

"We don't buy into the fatigue factor. They just played better on the day. Warrington built a lot of pressure and took a lot of juice out of us. Uncharacteristic things happen when you are fatigued.

"Obviously emotions were running high throughout the game and it ran away a little bit. But there's nothing much there."

TEAMS

Warrington: Riley; J Monaghan, Bridge, Atkins, King; Briers, Myler; Morley, M Monaghan, Carvell, Anderson, Grix, Cooper.

Replacements: Harrison, Clarke, Mitchell, Blythe.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Charnley, J Tomkins, Carmont, Richards; Deacon, Finch; Coley, Leuluai, Lima, Hansen, Hoffman, O'Loughlin.

Replacements: McIlorum, Prescott, Farrell, Hock.

Attendance: 13,024

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).



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Warrington 20-22 Wigan
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