Wigan 16-23 Warrington

Warrington blew the Super League title race wide open with a 23-16 over leaders Wigan at the DW Stadium.

In a gripping contest, which was the first ever Super League match to be broadcast in 3D, the Wolves prevailed to reduce the gap at the top of the table to just two points.

The visitors had to weather a Wigan storm in the opening 20 minutes, in the wet conditions after a large downpour prior to kick-off, and fell behind to a Pat Richards penalty after Sam Tomkins was taken out by a Wolves defender.

A quick play-the-ball then allowed hooker Mark Riddell to take advantage of a disorganised Wolves defence to notch the first try of the match, after Richards had a try of his own ruled out for a knock-on.

But despite dominating possession and territory in the first quarter, the Warriors found themselves just 6-0 up, and they were punished by Warrington’s first real foray in to their half.

Ryan Atkins‘ superbly weighted kick forced a drop out, and from the resulting set of six, Warrington created space on the right, and Matt King found his winger Chris Hicks, who finished well in the corner.

It gave the Wolves momentum, and not long after, Richie Myler raced on to Lee Briers accurate grubber kick, and stooped well to collect the ball and touchdown with the post as an obstruction. The young scrum-half came close on two further occasions, again off kicks, but was denied both times by the video referee.

Warrington led 10-6 at the break, and they put themselves in the driving seat when Chris Riley broke down the left, and his compromised kick was gathered by his centre Atkins, who span the Wigan full back to score in the corner, with Westwood converting to put the Wolves 16-6 to the good.

But Wigan fought their way back in to the match and a break by Sam Tomkins created the space for Chris Tuson to touchdown, the youngster still having a lot to do to score after being released by Tomkins, but he finished well.

Warrington continued to threaten the Wigan line, but an error by Richie Mathers was pounced upon by Pat Richards, who raced 90 metres to record the try of the game and tie things up at 16-16.

Mathers was again at fault as Liam Farrell came within inches of a go-ahead score for the Warriors. Joel Tomkins this time broke through, and his kick turned the Warrington defence. Mathers, who this week revealed he would be joining Castleford next season, failed to retrieve the ball, and Tomkins kicked on for Farrell, who just failed to gather the ball and touch down.

It would prove to be a crucial missed opportunity, as Warrington grabbed the victory late on before closing out the match with relative ease. Riley’s run across the line split the Warriors defence, and he fed Westwood on a superbly angled run for the second rower to crash over in front of the large travelling away support.

Westwood knocked over the conversion, and minutes later, Lee Briers put the game beyond doubt with a well struck drop goal, and Wigan had no response in the final period of the game as the Wolves added much intrigue to the race for the league leaders shield.

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