Wigan cruise past Warrington to go joint second – talking points & player ratings

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Wigan comfortably beat Warrington 20-6 to go joint second in the Super League table.

The Warriors currently sit third in the ladder, only behind the Wolves on points difference. They are also ahead of fourth-placed Hull FC on points difference.

Adrian Lam made three changes to his Wigan squad that beat Hull KR last week. Jarrod Sammut, Dan Sarginson and Romain Navarrete came into the side.

Chris Hankinson, Joe Burgess and Ben Flower dropped out for the Warriors.

Warrington coach Steve Price made seven changes to his outfit that lost to St Helens last time out. Tom Lineham, Toby King, Dec Patton, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Joe Philbin and Jason Clark returned.

Luther Burrell, Josh Thewlis, Riley Dean, Danny Walker, Lama Tasi, Matt Davis and Luis Johnson missed out for the Wolves.

It was all Wigan in the first half. Bevan French scored on his first Super League start, while George Williams and Zak Hardaker also crossed the whitewash to give the hosts an 18-0 lead at the break.

Hardaker added a penalty goal for Wigan in the second half but were dealt a blow when centre Oliver Gildart was sin-binned for a high shot on Jake Mamo on the hour mark.

Lineham scored for Warrington in the dying embers of the game but Wigan ran-out comfortable 20-6 winners.

Three talking points

Wigan for Old Trafford

It is becoming increasingly more likely every single week that Wigan are going back to Old Trafford this autumn.

It would be a huge achievement for Lam’s side if they do return to the Theatre of Dreams this year, especially considering the diversities they faced in the first half of the season.

They have been in scintillating form in recent months and haven’t reached their potential yet. If St Helens are going to be stopped from winning the Grand Final, then it looks like Wigan are going to be their main threat.

Warrington minds already at Wembley

It was all Wigan from as soon as referee Ben Thaler blew the whistle at 7:45pm. These type of games are strange when one of the clubs are in a final the following week as it’s almost impossible not to think of Wembley.

It’s fair to say that the Wolves players had one eye on the Challenge Cup final at Wembley next weekend.

They didn’t perform anywhere near like they normally do in a derby match against Wigan but their form heading into Wembley is concerning – having only won two out of their last eight games.

Smithies for GB squad

Wigan have unearthed a gem in Morgan Smithies this year. The back-rower or loose forward will be Wigan’s number 13 once captain Sean O’Loughlin retires.

The 18-year-old made his debut in a 42-0 win over Catalans earlier this year and has gone on to play 18 games. He is an absolute freak of a rugby league player.

Smithies should be in the Great Britain squad this autumn. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough – and he is. Smithies is a top, top prospect.

Line-ups and player ratings

Wigan: Hardaker (8); French (8), Sarginson (7), Gildart (6), Marshall (7); Williams (7), Leuluai (8); Clubb (7), Powell (8), Partington (7), Isa (7), Farrell (7), Smithies (8). Subs: Navarrete (7), Greenwood (6), Byrne (7), Sammut (6).

Tries: French, Williams, Hardaker Goals: Hardaker 4/4

Warrington: Ratchford (4); Lineham (4), Goodwin (4), King (4), Mamo (5); Patton (6), Smith (5); Hill (5), D Clark (5), Cooper (5), Currie (5), Livett (4), Akauola (5). Subs: Philbin (7), J Clark (6), Murdoch-Masila (5), Westwood (4).

Tries: Lineham Goals: Patton 1/1

Attendance: 12,555

Drew’s views

What a performance from Wigan. They certainly laid down their Grand Final credentials with a stellar win over local rivals Warrington.

It was good to see French play a full game, too. He scored the opener and had a superb effort ruled out. Fans will enjoy watching him in Super League – an entertainer.

What can be said about Warrington? They were poor in the first half and were thinking about next week. I’m 99% confident they won’t play like that at Wembley.


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