Sam Tomkins, Wigan’s prodigious talent, scored the match-winning try that sent the Warriors into the draw for the Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals, as Wakefield Wildcats crashed to their third consecutive defeat in all competitions.
In a thoroughly entertaining clash, the scoreline swung to-and-fro several times before the youngster, tipped by many to play a part in Tony Smith’s England squad in the future, skipped his way out of three tackles, crashing over to give the visitors an invaluable eleven point lead with minutes left to play.
It was Wakefield who came out the blocks the quickest though, Thomas Leuluai‘s failure to deal with the kick-off forced the Warriors to drop-out and handed possession back to Wakefield.
And it took just a few minutes for the home side to get on the scoresheet, captain Jason Demetriou running diagonally before diving over.
Two minutes later and the lead was extended further by Tevita Leo-Latu, as Wakefield powered through a lackadaisical Wigan defence as they looked to bounce back from their Murrayfield Magic defeat to Bradford.
But several mistakes gifted Wigan an opportunity back into the game, and the ball was spread to pat Richards who managed to hold on to it wonderfully, before slipping the ball to the supporting George Carmont to get the away side up and running.
Wakefield’s lack of power in the forwards, and failure to break the ranks of a stern Wigan defence meant that opportunities were limited, and Danny Brough landed a field goal to give the Wildcats a slender lead.
But that lead soon evaporated shortly before half-time, Cameron Phelps diving over with Richards adding the conversion.
The Wildcats looked to have failed in their attempts to break Wigan’s defence again when Brough picked up the ball, put in a deft little chip, which Martin gleefully pounced on.
That proved to be their final score of the match though as Wigan’s forwards took advantage of weak Wakefield tackling as tiredness set in.
And the game was made safe by Tomkins effort, using a gap created by O’Loughlin to skip around two tacklers, before diving over, much to the delight of Brian Noble.