Warrington brushed off the cobwebs to halt Wigan’s three-game winning run and complete the double over their arch rivals with a 21-8 victory in front of a 8,014 crowd at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Australian threequarter Jake Mamo, who scored a hat-trick of tries in the Wolves’ 40-14 romp at the DW Stadium in June, was again their hero, pouncing for an opportunist 80-metre try to seal victory in his side’s first game for three weeks.
The match came too early for former Wigan stand-off George Williams to make his debut and Warrington were still without half-back Gareth Widdop but they still had enough in their armoury to halt their neighbours’ revival.
Wigan, who were still without England second rower John Bateman, made all the early running, setting off at a fast pace in a bid to take advantage of their opponents’ recent inactivity, with Jackson Hastings once more revelling in the full-back role.
Right winger Jake Bibby was denied by a last-ditch tackle from stand-off Blake Austin but there was no stopping Liam Marshall as the Warriors moved the ball smartly to the left flank for him to dive over for the opening try in the 14th minute.
Warrington responded three minutes later through Austin, who finished off a lightning break from dummy half by the outstanding Daryl Clark, and Stefan Ratchford’s goal put the home side in front.
They almost increased the lead when prop Mike Cooper, on his 250th appearance for his hometown club, was the first to reach Clark’s grubber kick to the line only to fail to control the touchdown.
Wigan made the most of the let-off as Marshall swooped on scrum-half Harry Smith’s pinpoint kick to score his second try but Smith was again unable to add the conversion.
And, as play swung from end to end, the Wolves regained the lead just before the break through full-back Josh Thewlis, who pounced for a try after centre Oliver Gildart failed to clear the danger caused by Austin’s high kick.
Ratchford’s second conversion made it 12-8 and he increased the lead with a penalty two minutes into the second half after Austin had been the victim of a late tackle.
The game was still in the balance 20 minutes later when Marshall failed to collect a stray pass while attacking the Warrington line and Mamo swooped on the loose ball to sprint 80 metres for his opportunist try.
Ratchford’s touchline goal meant the visitors had to score three times and it always looked beyond them, although Bibby managed to cross the line for a disallowed try, and Austin wrapped up the scoring with a drop goal.
Tempers began to spill over in the final quarter and Mamo and Wigan forward Oliver Partington were both sin-binned for fighting.
Warrington: Thewlis; Mamo, Hughes, King, Charnley; Austin, Ratchford; Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, J Clark, Akauola. Subs: Philbin, Mulhern, Davis, Wrench.
Wigan: Hastings; Bibby, Isa, Gildart, Marshall; Leuluai, Smith; Singleton, Powell, Clubb, Pearce-Paul, Farrell, Partington. Subs: Shorrocks, Havard, Byrne, Bourouh.