Warrington continued their impressive start to the season by beating Wigan 25-12 in a classic derby game.
Steve Price made just one change to his Warrington outfit that beat Castleford Tigers last week. Ryan Atkins came in for the injured Bryson Goodwin.
Wigan coach Adrian Lam made six changes to his Warriors side that lost to Huddersfield Giants last time out. Tom Davies, Dan Sarginson, Jarrod Sammut, Romain Navarrete, Joe Greenwood, Ollie Partington and Jake Shorrocks replaced Dom Manfredi, Chris Hankinson, Liam Marshall, Sam Powell, Liam Paisley, Ben Flower and Taulima Tautai.
Jake Mamo got his third try in two games as he acrobatically went over early doors, before Ben Currie was denied a try by a fantastic effort in defence by Zak Hardaker to hold him up.
The Wolves extended their lead on the half hour mark as Currie got a sublime ball away to Rachford who scored. The latter added a penalty goal late in the half to give the hosts a 12-0 lead at the break.
Josh Charnley extended Warrington’s lead after the break, and Wigan were dealt a blow when centre Dan Sarginson was sin-binned in the 50th minute for a high shot on Atkins.
Wigan hit back on the hour through Davies after a nice kick through from Shorrocks. They scored another just a couple of minutes later through Willie Isa.
Warrington regained their composure though and Declan Patton notched a drop-goal in the 67th minute.
Tempers flared in the latter stages of the game and Isa was sin-binned for a dangerous challenge on Patton, while the latter also received a yellow card for retaliating to Isa’s tackle. Ben Westwood was then sent-off for a headbutt on Morgan Escare.
Jack Hughes powered over for Warrington in the final minute and sealed a 25-12 win for his side.
Three talking points
Clark is a class act
Daryl Clark put in a wow of a performance for Warrington. His quick darts out of dummy half troubled Wigan all game and they really got the Wolves on the front foot.
Individually, the England international has enjoyed a superb start to the season. He has been man of the match on a number of occasions already and will have a huge part to play if the Wolves are to win silverware this year.
Clark is certainly playing well enough to earn a call-up to the Great Britain squad this autumn.
Wigan poor in the first half
The Warriors lacked composure, grunt and smarts in the first half and that is ultimately what cost them.
Wigan’s forward pack in the first half were dominated by Warrington, but whatever coach Lam said at half-time inspired the team. They threw the ball around a lot more in the second period and they actually looked dangerous in some spells.
They bucked up their ideas in the second half and youngster Shorrocks added zip when came off the bench. The damage was already done in the first half though when the Wolves were 12-0 up.
Warrington composure impressive
The Wolves have crumbled in previous big games but that doesn’t look to be the case this year. They believe in themselves and their attitude was remarkable.
Wigan came back into the game in the second half after scoring quickfire tries through Davies and Isa, but the Wolves managed to stay composed and sealed the win late on thanks to the try from Hughes.
Price has got a good bled of youth and experience at the club this season, which is always a positive. The experience of Austin is teaching the youthful Patton every week and the combination is certainly improving.
Line-ups and ratings
Warrington: Ratchford (9); Mamo (7), King (7), Atkins (6), Charnley (8); Austin (8), Patton (8); Hill (7), Clark (9), Cooper (7), Currie (7), Hughes (8), Westwood (6). Subs: Murdoch-Masila (7), Tasi (6), Philbin (7), Clark (8).
Tries: Mamo, Ratchford, Charnley, Hughes Goals: Ratchford 4/5 Drop Goals: Patton 1
Wigan: Hardaker (7); Davies (6), Sarginson (7), Gildart (6), Escare (6); Williams (7), Sammut (6); Clubb (7), Leuluai (6), Navarrete (5), Greenwood (5), Isa (6), O’Loughlin (7). Subs: Partington (7), Bullock (6), Hamlin (7), Shorrocks (7).
Tries: Davies, Isa Goals: Hardaker 2/2
Warrington are a really good team to watch so far this season. Their forwards have been brilliant, and they have plenty of firepower coming off the bench in Joe Philbin, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Lama Tasi and Jason Clark.
They are a real force to be reckoned with this year. It could well be their year.
As for Wigan, it’s another defeat but it was a much-improved display compared to their showing against Huddersfield last time out.
The Warriors need to stop starting slow though. They seem to be giving teams an edge in the first half and are left chasing tails. If they can muster up an 80-minute performance, that next win won’t be far away.
Elsewhere in Super League
London Broncos scored two late tries to shock the rugby league world by beating Leeds Rhinos 18-16 at Emerald Headingley.
Jay Pitts, Matty Fozard and Will Lovell went over for the capital side.
Wakefield Trinity eased past Hull FC 32-12 at the KCOM Stadium.
Ryan Hampshire, Bill Tupou (2), Pauli Pauli and Reece Lyne crossed the whitewash for Trinity.