The game of the twentieth round drew the SKY cameras to the DW Stadium as second placed Wigan Warriors hosted third placed Warrington Wolves with both sides looking to consolidate their top four spots ahead of the split into the Super Eights.
This is the fourth 2018 meeting between the two sides with the Wolves having been the victors on two previous occasions, the last meeting being their 23-0 win in the Challenge Cup on the 2nd June.
A rejuvinated Warriors were favourites with the bookies, but the Wolves are a side who have a recent habit of beating their hosts.
After an end-to-end opening it was the Warriors who were first over the whitewash when Tom Davies found space down the right wing to run twenty metres off a Sam Tomkins pass to cross and round to improve the angle for the Tomkins conversion and a 6-0 lead.
Warrington responded on seventeen as Toby King took a Stefan Ratchford pass, threw the dummy to the right and stepped inside the Warriors defender to dive over the line.Bryson Goodwin pulled his kick the wrong side of the sticks.
It should have been a second Wolves try three minutes later but Stefan Ratchford put the Tom Lineham pass to ground with the line open in front of him.
The Wigan lead was extended on twenty-seven when on the last tackle Liam Paisley pushed his way between two Wolves tacklers, off a Thomas Leuluai pass, to drop over the line for a four pointer. Tomkins added the conversion for a 12-4 lead.
Warrington were under the cosh in the closing minutes but kept their line intact and did well to charge down a Tomkins attempted drop goal in the dying seconds.
Warrington got themselves right back in the game after Lineham found his way to the line on sixty-two after taking a Kevin Brown pass and ducking under the Wigan tackler. Ratchford was unable to add the conversion but the Wolves were just four adrift.
Four minutes from time and Josh Charnley grounded on the line under a pile of three Wigan tacklers to score against his former employer and colleagues. Stefan Ratchford had a kick to sew up the Warrington win but he pushed the ball across the sticks leaving the scores tied at 12-12.
Tyrone Roberts failed with a long range drop goal attempt on seventy-nine but with twenty-five seconds to go Josh Woods kicked a thirty metre drop goal to take the points and break Warrington hearts.
This was a terrific defensive game with few errors from either side played out by two of the best sides in the competition. The Wolves second half fightback deserved a point but a moment of genius from the young Wigan stand-off in the dying seconds sealed the win and opened up a four point gap between second and third.
Warriors: Tomkins S (2G), Davies (T), Bateman, Gildart, Marshall, Woods (DG), Powell, Clubb, Leuluai, Flower, Isa, Farrell, Hamlin . Subs: Field, Paisley (T), Escare, Tautai.
Wolves: Ratchford, Lineham (T), Goodwin, King (T), Charnley (T), Brown K, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Akauola, Hughes, Westwood. Subs: Crosby, Patton, Philby, Brown M.
Referee: Chris Kendall.