Warrington profit from Lauaki’s lack of discipline
Wigan 20 Warrington 22
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.
Saturday 24 March 2012
Warrington edged to the top of Super League, at least until Huddersfield's trip to Hull KR tomorrow, at the end of a match that managed to be both a complete mess and absolutely enthralling.
Wigan, ahead for most of the evening, were beaten because they lost their discipline at the end. There is a hard lesson to be learned there, especially by Epalahame Lauaki, who was implicated in both the late penalties that decided the result. "He needs to be better than that," said his coach, Shaun Wane. "He's been great for me this year but he's let himself down with those two plays."
Pat Richards gave Wigan the early lead with a penalty that took his personal tally for the club above the 2,000-point mark. Straight from the kick-off, the Wolves forced a mistake from Paul Prescott, and Ryan Atkins scored the night's first try, with Brett Hodgson added the conversion from the touchline.
The Wolves were finding Gareth Hock a handful and, after Michael McIlorum had been held up over the line, it was he who forced his way over.
Richard and Sam Tomkins then had a nasty collision, and when McIlorum scored soon after, Josh Charnley, kicking for the still-groggy Richards, missed an easy goal. That left the door ajar for the Wolves to draw level by half-time and Joel Monaghan squeezed in at the corner. Hodgson could not land the goal, but squared the scores with a penalty.
Tomkins began the second half with a dazzling run that should have brought a try, if not for him then for one of his team-mates in support. No matter; Warrington could not regroup and Richards scored anyway. A Charnley penalty stretched Wigan's lead, but it was all square again when Lee Briers intercepted Thomas Leuluai's pass. Matty Blythe's steal then allowed Charnley to edge Wigan back in front.
The tension showed when Lauaki was placed on report for a high tackle on Simon Grix, while Prescott also went high to give Hodgson his invitation to level again. Lauaki's indiscipline yielded another penalty for his spear-tackle on Blythe and the Wolves were ahead – and this time they stayed there.
Wigan: S. Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Richards, Finch, Leuluai, Prescott, McIlorum, Lauaki, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin.
Replacements used: Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Flower.
Warrington: Hodgson, Riley, C. Bridge, Atkins, J. Monaghan, Briers, Myler, Morley, M. Monaghan, Cooper, Waterhouse, Westwood, Grix.
Replacements used: Wood, Blythe, Hill, Dwyer.
Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic semi-final with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Transfer news live: Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal CONFIRMED; Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea; Liverpool close in on £14m Ezequiel Lavezzi
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures