Warrington 4 Wigan 12: Shaun Wane hails 'big win' as Warriors defeat Wolves in Grand Final repeat
The reigning Super League champions took the spoils once again thanks to tries from Liam Farrell and Blake Green
Friday 21 March 2014
Wigan sent out a message to the pretenders to their Super League crown with a hugely impressive 12-4 victory over Warrington in their Grand-Final rematch at a wet and windy Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Warriors overcame the absence of England duo Sean O'Loughlin and Michael McIlorum to demonstrate their champion qualities by condemning Warrington to a second home defeat in three matches and leapfrog them up to sixth place in the table.
England forward Liam Farrell scored one try and sent stand-in captain Blake Green over for the other as Shaun Wane's men dominated a ferocious, error-strewn game from the kick-off.
The Wolves never seriously threatened a superbly-drilled defence, with winger Gene Ormsby scoring their only try from an interception.
"Not many teams will come here and win as convincingly as we did," Wane said. "With such a young team and with important players missing, it is a big win for us.
"Our defence scrambled when it needed to and we showed some real toughness, which was the pleasing thing for me."
Wane was especially delighted with the contribution of his half-backs Matty Smith and Green, who followed up his Grand Final man-of-the-match display with another assured performance.
"It was a big game for us," Green said. "We haven't started the season very well and we were disappointed with how we went over in Sydney (in the World Club Challenge).
"It was important to come here and show some character and bring some intensity to the game and I think we did that."
Warrington coach Tony Smith admitted his side were "dreadful" with the ball but took solace from his players' physicality and singled out captain Ben Westwood for particular praise, describing the England forward as "a machine".
"It was an incredible performance for a guy who wasn't on the winning team," Smith said.
Meanwhile, Leeds will have the chance to go top of the table, at least for 48 hours, when they host struggling London Broncos at Headingley on Friday night.
The Rhinos' former London coach Brian McDermott recalls England winger Ryan Hall while youngsters Thomas Minns and Alex Foster will play against their parent club as part of their season-long loan deals with the Broncos.
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