Wilting Wolves overrun

Warrington met their high noon in the second half of a match that again exposed them as being well short of the calibre required to compete with the best in Super League.

In front of a Wigan team who looked unconvincing until half-time, Warrington were then swept aside by the irresistible ball movement and invention of the likes of Andy Farrell and Terry Newton.

The Wolves had begun bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, despite the absurdly early 11am kick-off. They had probed promisingly through Allan Langer before Wigan registered the first try, Lee Penny spilling Willie Peters' high kick for Kris Radlinski to score.

Wigan scored again, through Steve Renouf's brilliant dummy and acceleration, before an excellent half swung Warrington's way.

In the 10 minutes before half-time, Lee Briers was instrumental in three tries that put his team on top. First he linked with Langer to send Ian Knott over, then he was part of a dazzling move that ended with Ian Sibbit slipping the ball for Jon Roper to score.

In injury time, the inspired Briers sold a dummy to nip through for a try of his own, his second conversion then putting Warrington four points ahead.

Had it not been for Penny's knock-on after another promising attack early in the second half, Warrington might have finished the job. Instead, they collapsed completely.

The turning point came when Farrell held off Knott's weak tackle to lay on Renouf's second.

Toa Kohe-Love has been a match-winner for Warrington in the past, but two fumbles from him cost them dear yesterday.

From the first of the resulting scrums, Jason Robinson darted straight through a tiring defence and the second yielded a try for Terry O'Connor.

With Warrington wilting in the sunshine, Newton and Radlinski handled beautifully to send Simon Haughton over and Farrell released Denis Betts for a try.

"It's not fitness, it's attitude," insisted the Warrington coach, Darryl Van de Velde. "With no depth, people are turning up week after week knowing they'll be in the team because there's no pressure on them."

Dean Bell, standing in for the Wigan coach, Frank Endacott, silenced by a sore throat, predicted: "Not many teams will win here this season."

The problem for Warrington is that every team that does so says just that.

Warrington: Penny; Hunte, Kohe-Love, Sibbit, Roper; Briers, Langer; Gee, Farrar, Nutley, McCurrie, Knott, Nikau. Substitutes used: Hilton, Chambers, Blakeley, Guisset.

Wigan: Radlinski; Dallas, Gilmour, Renouf, Robinson; Farrell, Peters; Malam, Newton, Cowie, Cassidy, Haughton, Betts. Substitutes used: Davies, O'Connor, Hodgson, Chester.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).

Results, Digest, page 23

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