Wigan’s reward for a scrappy 28-10 win at Hull KR was a mouth-watering quarter-final tie at Warrington.
The Warriors were locked 10-10 midway through the second-half when Sam Tomkins’ converted try – and subsequent penalty – nudged them eight-points clear.
Late tries by Tony Clubb and Tom Davies flattered the scoreline against a gutsy KR side, who had Danny Tickle sent off on the stroke of half-time for punching John Bateman.
Shaun Wane said: “I knew it was going to be tough. They’re under the pump with injuries and losing Danny, they were under pressure and they fired up. Fair play to them, they gave us a tough game but we’re in the next round and that’s what we wanted.”
He felt referee Chris Kendall made the correct call in sending off Tickle - a Challenge Cup finalist with Wigan in 2004 - and yellow-carding Bateman for lashing out.
“John was sin-binned for pushing, and then Danny has punched him, and so I think he got it correct,” said Wane, who was disappointed with their overall performance.
“We gave some terrible penalties away - too many pressure-releases,” he said.
“But we have a lot of competitors, players like Sam and John Bateman, and they managed the game towards the end. I’ve got to give them credit, they showed loads of character.”
Wigan will return to KR in less than two weeks for a Super League clash. Before then, they have Saturday’s Magic Weekend clash in Newcastle against in-form Warrington - a dress-rehearsal of their Cup quarter-final.
Wane is hoping George Williams will be fit after missing their sixth-round tie with a wrist injury. Sean O’Loughlin started but was withdrawn with a calf pull, and will be hoping to recover in time.
French livewire Morgan Escare was available for selection against the Robins, but not picked - there had been suggestion his absence was due to a failed concussion test.
Hull KR coach Tim Sheens wanted to review the red-card incident again before commenting in detail but said: “I think losing Danny right on half-time didn’t help. We had to really adjust a whole heap of things which losing a key player does.
“In the last 15 minutes they got away from us but I think everyone was exhausted. I don’t think anyone had anything left.” Prop Robbie Mulhern has been added to their mounting injury-list with a suspected ACL injury.
“He’s been our best forward all year so, yes, it is a big loss for us and him too,” added Sheens.