Wigan’s revenge little consolation after Cup defeat

Wigan 36 Warrington 16
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The Independent Online

The relative ease with which Wigan won the second half of this double-header will come as no consolation whatsoever for fans who would happily have swapped the two Super League points for a trip to Wembley.

The second meeting in a week between these two sides followed the traditional script, whereby the side beaten in a Challenge Cup semi-final has its mind considerably more on the job. So it was with Wigan, who were far too focussed for Warrington, who still have much to do if they want to clinch a play-off place as well as a Cup final appearance.

Warrington took the field with a side much changed from their semi-final victory six days earlier and, not surprisingly, they were disjointed in the early stages. So too, with less excuse, were Wigan, who lacked only Phil Bailey from last Saturday's line-up.

It was Warrington who adapted first, Chris Bridge touching down Michael Monaghan's little kick, although there appeared to be an earlier knock-on by Ben Westwood. Wigan replied with a well-constructed try to Pat Richards, set up by Cameron Phelps' cut-out pass.

After they had survived a wave of Wolves attacks, the home side began to stride away. First, Amos Roberts claimed a try made easy by Sean O'Loughlin's precise kick and then Phelps went over for a try essentially created by Sam Tomkins' mazy run – good work that he almost spoiled with an impetuous kick-out in the tackle.

As half-time approached, the Warrington defence had a distinct on-our-way-to-Wembley look about it as it opened up obligingly for Thomas Leuluai, with Richards landing his third goal for a convincing 22-4 lead.

The theme continued after the break with Wigan making yards far too easily as George Carmont sent Martin Gleeson over the try-line.

A couple of minutes later, Richards surged down the left wing and turned the ball back inside for Carmont's own first. The main flow was all in one direction with Mark Flanagan standing in the tackle to slip out a clever pass for Carmont's second try.

Warrington did get one back through Vinnie Anderson, but they continued to wear that slightly distracted air of Cup finalists-in-waiting down the ages.

Wigan: Phelps; Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards; S Tomkins, Leuluai; Coley, Riddell, Prescott, Hansen, J Tomkins, O'Loughlin.

Substitutes used: Fielden, Paleaesina, Flanagan, Mossop.

Warrington: Mathers; Penny, V Anderson, Johnson, Riley; Bridge, Briers; Morley, Monaghan, Cooper, L Anderson, Mitchell, Westwood.

Substitutes used: Pickersgill, Rauhihi, Blythe, McCarthy.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield)