Wigan Warriors 14 Warrington Wolves 40: Fourth straight loss for Adrian Lam's side

Adrian Lam's problems mounted as Wigan lurched to a fourth straight Super League defeat.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 9:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 9:54 pm
Kai Pearce-Paul in action at the DW Stadium

A brief Wigan fightback midway through the second-half cut the margin to 10 points but the Wolves quickly retook control, Jake Mamo finishing with three of Warrington s seven tries in front of 5,537 fans at the DW Stadium.

Given their lack of confidence, it was always going to be a big ask for Wigan - but they will curse their own defensive lapses and errors.

Warrington are too good a side without being handed chances and - in the case of two Mamo intercepts, and Jack Hughes' stroll-over - simple tries.

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It doesn't get any easier for Lam's side, who takes his team to St Helens on Sunday for a Grand Final rematch. If that task didn't already looked ominous, Saints will be well-rested after Castleford forfeited their midweek match.

Those seeking positives may take a crumb of comfort from the fact Wigan posted three tries in a game for the first time in more than a month. There were notable efforts from Jackson Hastings, Willie Isa and Kai Pearce-Paul, 18-year-old hooker Brad O'Neill made a solid home debut from the bench.

But those were out-weighed by the negatives and there were boos from some home fans at the full-time whistle.

While Wigan headed into this derby having lost their last three, Warrington had won just as many - and been in prolific form.

Lam was, at least, boosted by the return of Hastings, Oliver Gildart and Liam Farrell to his side but was still without a handful of players including big-guns John Bateman, Bevan French, Dom Manfredi and Zak Hardaker.

While the majority of the first-half belonged to the Wolves, the hosts made an energetic start but their edge-to-edge attack was too one-dimensional.

Indeed, there were other spells in the first-half were they pressed the Wolves' line, but sorely lacked a potent edge.

Warrington, by contrast, had confidence and variety to their attacks. They led 18-0 midway through the first-half and bombed two other chances.

Young centre Connor Wrench angled onto Daryl Clark's stabbed kick through in the seventh minute and, after Stefan Ratchford had a try chalked off by the video official, Jake Mamo gleefully intercepted Oliver Gildart's overhead pass and raced away.

In the 23rd minute, it got even worse as Blake Austin stood up in the tackle to to send the supporting Matt Davis over. With Ratchford nailing all the conversions, the Wolves led 18-0.

Wigan didn't dip their heads. They forced ex-Warrior Josh Charnley over the deadball line to earn a dropout and managed to post a try before half-time - a feat they have been unable to do in their previous three games.

Against Wakefield, the imposing presence and controlled offloads of young forward Kai Pearce-Paul had been Wigan's biggest attacking threat.

And the 20-year-old underlined his burgeoning credentials before the break, standing up in the tackle and finding Sam Powell in support. Harry Smith's goal narrowed the gap to 18-6 points.

If the optimists were crossing their fingers for a Wigan try first in the second-half, that hope was punctured two minutes in.

Wolves re-established their authority - and their 18-point lead - and there was a sense of deja vu as Mamo again raced away from an intercept.

Again, though, that score seemed to jolt Wigan into life as they posted two unanswered tries before the hour-mark.

They marched down field and after a spell of pressure, Hastings - operating at full-back - chimed into the right attack to send Willie Isa crashing over.

And moments later, Hastings again proved the architect, poking a measured kick into the ingoal for Gildart to ground.

But Smith was off-target with both conversions which - though it was four-tries-to-three - kept a 10-point between the sides.

Just like Wigan's last two games, there was a brief sniff of a comeback for the fans who hadn't seen their side win in more than a month.

Warrington, though, tightened their grip with three unanswered tries.

Ex-Warrior Hughes strolled between Smith and Gildart far too easily, Ben Currie angled through a flapping defence and with two minutes to go, Mamo gobbled up a short dropout to secure his hat-trick.

Wigan: Hastings; Bibby, Isa, Gildart, Marshall; Leuluai, Smith; Havard, Powell, Partington, Pearce-Paul, Farrell, Smithies. Subs: Bullock, Byrne, O'Neill, Shorrocks.

Warrington: Thewlis; Lineham, Mamo, Wrench, Charnley; Austin, Ratchford; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Davis. Subs: Philbin, Mulhern, Clark, Walker.

Referee: James Child

Half-time: 6-18