Warrington Wolves 14 Wigan Warriors 18: Five things we learned
Five things we learned from Wigan's 18-14 victory against Warrington...
1. There were too many errors for this to be a classic, but the intensity and tightness of last night's match was absorbing.
Wigan were slow out of the blocks, falling 12-0 down, but they improved from midway through the first-half until the end.
And while there were areas to tidy up - last-play options, kicking - there was equally much to admire from their spirited display, which proved a decent tonic to their Challenge Cup hangover.
The win moved them up to second in the Super League table, while nudging Warrington out of the top-four.
2. Ahead of the first meeting in January, Wolves CEO Karl Fitzpatrick - perhaps with his tongue in cheek to drum up interest - declared it was their intention to do a "clean sweep" over Wigan in 2020.
The Warriors have won both, now, adding them to the list of 'doubles' achieved in this patched-up season with Hull FC and Wakefield.
They can add Catalans to that list if they win on Thursday.
3. Liam Farrell not only scored the match-winner in the 76th minute, he collected Sky Sports' man of the match.
And it was a deserved honour after he topped Wigan's tackle count with 55 and chewed up 141 metres - second only to Zak Hardaker in that department.
But this was not a one man show. Hardaker, Oli Partington and Dom Manfredi impressed in a strong line-up, and Harry Smith added a spark - and an improved kicking game - from the bench. And what about...
4. Brad Singleton. He made his debut after his switch from Toronto Wolfpack, and nearly marked his debut - on the Headingley ground he used to call home - with a try from a surging charge.
Barrow-raised Singleton, a Wigan fan as a child, led the victory song afterwards.
And his arrival, coupled with the expected return from injury of Tony Clubb and George Burgess this week, gives Lam some competition for front-row spots.
5. There was some confusion in the second-half when Warrington were awarded a penalty.
With the score locked 12-12, Wolves co-captain Jack Hughes was told by referee Chris Kendall they had to go for goal - as a player had signalled that to the official.
Former Super League referee Ian Smith said on Twitter that "it doesn’t have to be the captain" who makes the decision.
Stefan Ratchford duly tagged on the two, but Wolves coach Steve Price later spoke of a "miscommunication" and suggested he thought the ref should have only listened to the skipper.
The call was to run the ball,” he said. "I think there was a miscommunication from a player to the referee. It wasn’t the captain who said it. That’s down to Chris Kendall.”
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