By Rachel Arnett (images by swpix)
Warrington Wolves hosted rivals Wigan Warriors at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in Round 6 of the new season; there’s definitely no love lost between these two sides.
The Wire were looking to continue to build on their strong start to the year, with Wigan looking to hit some form having won just one game going into the derby.
The Wire made just one change to the 17 that beat Castleford last week; Ryan Atkins in for the injured Bryson Goodwin.
Wigan, however, made several changes to the side that ran out at home to Huddersfield; missing were the likes of Liam Marshall, Taulima Tautai and Ben Flower.
Not a high scoring first half but there were some big hits, the Wire creating some great chances, capitalising on two with tries for Mamo and Ratchford.
The second half saw Wigan hit back with two tries of their own but a further two for the Wire and an ingenious drop goal from Patton settled the win for the home side. Things did heat up a bit towards the end with two yellow and one red card shown.
Stefan Ratchford, Jake Mamo, Ryan Atkins, Toby King, Josh Charnley, Blake Austin, Declan Patton, Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Jack Hughes, Ben Westwood
Subs: Joe Philbin, Ben Murdoch-Masila Jason Clark, Lama Tasi
Tries: Mamo, Ratchford, Charnley, Hughes
Goals: Ratchford (4)
Drop Goal: Patton
Sin Bin: Patton (74 minutes)
Sent Off: Westwood (74 minutes)
Zak Hardaker, Tom Davies, Dan Sarginson, Oliver Gildart, Morgan Escare, George Williams, Jarrod Sammut, Tony Clubb, Thomas Leuluai, Romain Navarrete, Joe Greenwood, Willie Isa, Sean O’Loughlin
Subs: Oliver Partington, Joe Bullock, Gabriel Hamlin, Jake Shorrocks
Tries: Davies, Isa
Goals: Hardaker (2)
Sin Bin: Sarginson (50 minutes); Isa (74 minutes)
The first try came on seven minutes as Mamo flew over in the corner, taking a long pass from Austin on his inside. The opening stages to the game had seen end-to-end play from both sides, a couple of errors in the mix with such fast-paced play. 4-0
On 20 minutes there wasn’t much between the two rivals, the Wire edging it after the early try down the left edge and showing more likelihood of scoring.
As the half-hour mark approached the Wire looked to be over again through a break to the line from Currie. The decision on the field was no try and after a look by the video referee the score was denied, knocking on over the line in a tackle by Hardaker.
Wigan then had their tails up putting pressure on at the opposite end; rewarded with a repeat set after catching the Wire in goal. But the home side’s defence came out on top. Just minutes later and the second try was on the board, this time Ratchford rounding the defence to score. He added the conversion. 10-0
Hughes went over with five minutes to the break but the score was chalked off for a forward pass close to the line from Jason Clark. The Wire were so close again minutes later when a Wigan error was scooped up by Austin showing some pace down the right. On the last, a cross-field kick from Patton resulted in a drop-out for Wigan for another Wire push.
The boot of Ratchford nudged the lead to 12-0, kicking a penalty from in front of the sticks with seconds counting down on the clock to half time.
Wigan looked to have lifted straight from the kick-off but a forward pass a few plays in gave possession to the Wire to kick off their second half, with Charnley getting to within inches as the home side kept the ball alive. No score on that occasion though.
But on 46 minutes the winger was over, taking full advantage of a Wigan error from a high ball; picking up off the bounce. Ratchford made no mistake with the tricky touchline conversion. 18-0
On 50 minutes Austin left the field to be checked over after taking a big hit. The team having a reshuffle. Sarginson was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Atkins in a separate incident, leaving Wigan down to 12 men.
60 minutes marked the first score for the visitors. On the back of a drop-out, Wigan attacked the line with room for a kick-through setting up Davies to score. The conversion was added to narrow the gap. 18-6
And this score kicked them into gear with a second soon after. Isa with the try. Hardaker lands the kick. 18-12
The Wire have a response of their own, Patton landing a drop goal from in front to edge seven points clear.
Tempers started to flare with six minutes left of the game, after a hit on King. Patton and Isa were shown a yellow card, with Westwood seeing red following his reaction.
The Wire might have been down in numbers but that didn’t stop Hughes forcing his way over for a try, setting up an easy conversion for Ratchford. 25-12