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As Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors players and supporters held their breath for the sixth round draw of the Challenge Cup, both sides will have hoped for an easier draw than on against their arch rivals.

Both sides have a massive Challenge Cup history, sharing twenty-seven wins between them. The Warriors last picked up the trophy in 2013 when they became the next name on a long an illustrious list after the Wolves who had won it in three out of the previous four years. Warrington were, of course, the losing finalists last year when they were beaten by the Catalans Dragons whereas it was Wigan who had the disappointment the year before when they lost to Hull FC.

Second placed Warrington were the favourites with the bookies and expected to make home advantage pay against an eighth placed Wigan Warriors.

Stefan Ratchford was the architect of the ideal start for the home side when he wrapped around and threw a pass out to Bryson Goodwin to dive over and score in the corner. Ratchford converted brilliantly from the left touchline for a 6-0 lead after nine minutes.

Dan Sarginson appeared to make amends for three earlier mistakes with a long range try but the video referee over-ruled the on-field decision and ruled a ‘NO TRY’.

Romain Navarrete spilled the ball close to the Wolves line on twenty-two as the Warriors pressured the home line. Two minutes later Sam Powell grounded the ball on his second attempt after Chris Hill was unable to sweep the ball dead inside his own goal area. Zak Hardaker added the conversion to level the scores, the Warriors edging position and possession.

On twenty-seven the video referee was in action again when Jack Hughes managed to get the ball on the ground after going over the line on his back. Despite an on-field decision of ‘NO TRY’, video official Hicks allowed the try and the Wolves were back ahead. Ratchford made no mistake with the boot for a 12-6 lead.

Wigan were back on level pegging again on thirty-four thanks to a Tommy Leuluai straight run at the line from ten metres out after taking a fast ball and hitting the Wolves line at speed. Hardaked added the conversion for 12-12.

Daryl Clark stunned the Warriors three minutes before the interval as he scooted from acting half back and outpaced Hardaker to go over and touch down. Ratchford added the conversion for an 18-12 half time lead, in what had been a humdinger of an opening forty minutes.

After getting an early penalty for playing the ball into an opponent at the ruck, Hardaker kicked a penalty goal with ninety second on the clock after the restart.

Ryan Atkins put daylight between the two sides for the first time after taking a Blake Austin pass to show the shoulder and turn under the Wigan defence to ground. Ratchford added a conversion from wide for a ten point lead.

There was no throwing in of the towel by Wigan. On fifty-one Dan Sarginson crashed the Wolves line with his momentum carrying him over after he initially grounded short of the line. Hardaker was able to add the extras to reduce the arrears to four points.

A fifty-sixth minute Hardaker reach for the line levelled the scores at 24-24 but he made an awful attempt at the conversion, pushing it well wide of the uprights.

A sixty-seventh minute Ratchford penalty, after interference at the play-the-ball inside the Wigan ten, edged Warrington back into the lead at 26-24.

Warrington maintained the pressure on the Wigan line and forced a couple of goal line drop outs but going into the last five minutes it was just a two point margin which separated the two sides.

The last ten minutes were error strewn as both sides pushed for the cruciall winning score but Warrington held their nerve to eliminate the nineteen times winners and secure their place in the draw for the quarter finals.

It had been an excellent and highly competitive match played ina brilliant spirit and perfect conditions in front of a vociferous crowd. Neither side really deserved to lose in a game which ebbed and flowed but Warrington will take their win and progress on the road to Wembley.

Wolves:  Ratchford (4G), Goodwin (T), Atkins (T), King, Charnley, Austin, Patton, Hill, Clark D (T), Cooper, Currie, Hughes (T), Davies. Subs: Murdoch-Masila, Clark J, Philbin, Akauola.

Warriors: Hardaker (T, 4G), Marshall, Sarginson (T), Gildart, Williams, Leuluai (T), Flower, Powell (T), Navarrete, Isa, Greenwood, Clubb. Subs: O’Loughlin, Hankinson, Tautai, Bullock.

Referee: James Child.

Half-Time: 18-12.

Full-Time: 26-24.

Attendance: .

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th May 2019 4:08 PM | Views : 2388 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES


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