SAM Tomkins’ return to Wigan Warriors may have been the night’s big talking point, but Dom Manfredi’s hat-trick ensured a win over Warrington Wolves.
The night was almost spoiled when it had barely started - with Warrington racing into a 10-point lead.
Joel Monaghan was first over after seven minutes when, with the Warriors defence stretched on their own line, Stefan Ratchford’s pass sent the winger over in the corner.
And just three minutes later, before Wigan had even had the ball again, Chris Bridge muscled over to extend the Wolves’ lead.
But it didn’t take long for Wigan to find their groove, with Liam Farrell finishing off a break by George Williams, which saw Joe Burgess play a vital role by scorching along the touchline before flinging a confident pass to the try scorer.
Ryan Hampshire was next to register a try - Burgess again providing the opportunity - after Dan Sarginson had turned Monaghan inside out in the build-up.
With a little more than a quarter of the game gone, Ben Flower made his return from a six-month ban to a standing ovation from the Wigan faithful, and quickly got in on the action when he was on the end of a bone jarring tackle.
There was still more end to end action in the first half, with Bridge claiming his second try before Manfredi finished off a fine move which included a pass from Joel Tomkins the Harlem Globetrotters would have been proud of.
Ben Currie threatened to spoil the party atmosphere just four minutes after the restart when he put his side back in the lead but Anthony Gelling cancelled it out with a try of his own eight minutes later. Matty Smith’s goal put his side back in front.
From here, Manfredi took the leading role with Gelling in support.
On the hour Manfredi took Gelling’s pass to shimmy over the line, and six minutes later an outrageous score provided the perfect end.
Smith lined-up a drop goal attempt which was charged down, and Gelling hacked on for Manfredi to claim and seal his second treble in as many games.
Ryan Hampshire; Dom Manfredi, Anthony Gelling, Dan Sarginson, Joe Burgess; George Williams, Matty Smith; Lee Mossop, Michael McIlorum, Dom Crosby, Joel Tomkins, Liam Farrell; John Bateman
Subs: Ben Flower, Tony Clubb, Taulima Tautai, Logan Tomkins
Stefan Ratchford; Joel Monaghan, Chris Bridge, Toby King, Gene Ormsby; Declan Patton, Richie Myler; Chris Hill, Mickey Higham, Roy Asotasi, Ben Currie, Ben Westwood; Ben Harrison
Subs: Daryl Clark, Ashton Sims, Anthony England, James Laithwaite
Tries: Manfredi 3,Farrell, Hampshire, Gelling
Tries: Bridge 2, Monaghan, Currie
Goals: Ratchford 2