Higham seals classic victory for Warrington
Warrington 22 Wigan 12
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
The Halliwell Jones Stadium
Monday 24 June 2013
The contest for the League Leaders Trophy is still alive as a late contribution against his old team from Mickey Higham gave Warrington victory in the best game of the Super League season so far. The hooker scored one and set one up in the last five minutes as a depleted Wigan saw their unbeaten run end at an unlucky 13.
Wigan were without nine regulars, making them underdogs, according to their coach, Shaun Wane. It certainly looked that way when the Wolves took the lead after seven minutes, as Ben Westwood, in his testimonial season, crashed over from Lee Briers' pass.
Sam Tomkins and Brett Hodgson went close for their respective sides, before Pat Richards and Joel Monaghan were held up over the line. Those close calls that kept the video referee busy were a measure of the intensity of the two defences. On the half-hour, Wigan's cracked again, Briers grubbering through, Richards missing the ball on the ground and Monaghan credited with the touch-down.
Ten points looked like a handy lead as the Wolves became the first team this season to hold Wigan scoreless at half-time. "I didn't think we looked beaten at any stage. It was a great game," said Warrington coach Tony Smith. But two minutes into the second half, Tomkins took Matty Smith's pass and lunged over and Wigan were now inspired. Harrison Hansen's tackling forced a turn-over of possession and Tomkins coming into the line, gave Anthony Gelling the chance to sell a dummy and sail over, Richards' conversion putting them ahead.
With time starting to run out, Chris Riley kicked ahead and Higham won the race for the ball. It was then Higham's pass that put Chris Hill over to clinch a classic.
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