Wakefield knock young Wigan off top spot in ‘heart-in-mouth’ thriller


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The Independent Online

Wakefield coach James Webster praised his side’s character after they beat Wigan 36-28 to knock the champions off top spot in the Super League yesterday.

Wigan arrived at Belle Vue with a young side in the absence of experienced players such as Sean O’Loughlin and Matty Bowen and that lack of know-how showed in an enthralling contest.

Wakefield went into the break 24-18 to the good thanks to tries from Danny Kirmond, Tim Smith, Richard Owen and Richard Moore. Dan Sarginson put Wigan back in front before Danny Washbrook’s try edged the Wildcats ahead.

Reece Lyne scored with four minutes left to calm Wakefied’s nerves and secure the West Yorkshire outfit’s first win over Wigan since 2009.

“It was an exciting game,” said Webster. “I thought the boys played really tough and gutsed it out. Wigan came at us for the full 80 minutes.

“I thought it was a decent game of rugby if you’re a neutral, but as a Wigan or a Wakefield supporter there was a couple of moments where it was heart-in-your-mouth.”

Nathan Brown, the St Helens coach, set his sights on revenge against Wigan after watching his side return to form with a 38-16 win over fourth-placed Castleford.

Brown’s men took advantage of Wigan’s defeat at Wakefield with a comprehensive victory at Langtree Park to return to the top of the Super League ahead of Friday’s derby at the DW Stadium.

Saints were beaten 33-14 on Good Friday by their arch rivals and Brown is relishing the chance to hand them back-to-back defeats. “We’re back on top and we’d like to make sure we put in a good performance and try to maintain that position if we can,” he said.