Shaun Wane described Wigan’s dramatic 24-24 draw with Warrington as “a point lost”.
Warrington thought they had snatched the victory when former Wigan second rower Jack Hughes, playing as a makeshift centre, crossed for a 74th-minute try that edged his side in front for the first time.
But Wigan centre Joe Burgess leapt high in the last minute of the match to collect Sean O’Loughlin’s kick for the try that levelled the scores and the champions would have claimed both points had George Williams been able to add the difficult conversion.
“It was a point dropped,” said Wane, who has never lost a Magic Weekend fixture.
“With a minute to go I thought we were in trouble but I don’t like drawing.
“I’m disappointed. We bombed too many tries and came up with too many unforced errors.
“We did some good things in the first half but some ordinary things in the second half.
“We could have been 24-6 up at half-time if we had taken our chances. We were dumb in crucial areas.
“I’m so proud of the desire my team show time and time again, I’m just sorry for them that we didn’t get two points.”
He had no grumble with the goalkicking of Williams, who took over the duties when half-back Josh Woods rolled his ankle inside the first quarter.
“He’s not kicked for five years,” Wane said. “He struck the ball well.”
Burgess’ last-minute heroics overshadowed the contribution of winger Liam Marshall, who scored a hat-trick of tries to take his tally to 13 in just 12 Super League appearances, with seven of them coming against the Wolves.
The game had stormy passages, with two second-half scuffles and Frank-Paul Nuuausala threw an object from the field – many suggesting it was the boot of a Warrington player – into the crowd.
“We’re disappointed,” Wolves coach Tony Smith said. “I’m sure Wigan are too.
“When you work your way in to a winning situation and don’t win it’s disappointing. Wigan could say exactly the same thing and maybe they had more time to make sure of the win.
“Wigan invited us back into the game on a number of occasions and, had we managed it better, we could and should have won the game. We just needed some smart execution at certain stages.
“I don’t think either of us were at our best.”
Smith says he felt the decision of referee Ben Thaler to sin-bin Wigan full-back Lewis Tierney for slowing down a play-the-ball was a harsh call.
The point was enough to lift Warrington out of the bottom four for the first time this year but Wigan stay sixth after going a third successive match without a win.