- Match report as Wigan Warriors return to Betfred Super League action with a 22-23 victory over Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
- A Harry Smith drop-goal proved to be the difference in a tight encounter.
- Full time: Wakefield Trinity 22- 23 Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors kicked off their Betfred Super League restart with a 22-23 victory over Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
In what was their first game since mid-March, Adrian Lam’s side needed to work hard to secure a victory, with a Harry Smith drop-goal proving pivotal following a late resurgence from Trinity.
Liam Marshall was amongst the scorers for the Warriors, as he marked his 100th career appearance with a try.
Meanwhile, Jake Bibby powered his way over to get his first for the Club.
The first points of the afternoon went to Wakefield, as Tony Gigot successfully converted a penalty after ten minutes of play.
Wigan nearly instantly responded, as Bibby came close to grounding the ball following a great chip forward by Marshall and claw back into play by Bevan French.
Lam’s side didn’t have to wait too much longer to put themselves on the scoresheet, as some excellent play by Smith assisted Zak Hardaker, who dashed through a gap in the Trinity defence. The centre then added the extras to make it 2-6 after 15 minutes.
Hardaker then turned creator, as he produced a superb short kick, which was expertly finished by French in the corner to extend the Wigan lead.
Trinity came close to pulling one back, but a great defensive effort by the Warriors saw Max Jowitt held up.
Seven minutes before the break, Chris Chester’s side did pull a try back after a good period as Kyle Wood went over.
Wigan quickly re-established their eight-point lead, as Jackson Hastings kicked the ball through to Marshall who gathered to run through and touch down for a try in his 100th career appearance.
Hardaker was on hand to add the extras to make it 6-16 and extend the Warriors’ lead to ten points at the break.
Ten minutes into the second half, Lam’s side added their fourth of the game, as a determined Bibby forced his way to the line and somehow grounded the ball to get his first try for the Club, despite the best efforts of the Trinity defence.
With 15 minutes remaining, Wakefield pulled one back, with Tom Johnstone producing an astonishing one-handed finish in the corner to get past French and keep himself in play. Gigot added the extras to make it 12-22, heading into the final stages.
That try saw Trinity come to life and put the Wigan defence under pressure, resulting in another try, with Liam Kay finding space on the right wing to add his name to the scoresheet.
With three minutes left, Smith added another point for the Warriors as he found himself in space to produce a drop goal, which went over via the left post.
That was still not the end of proceedings, as a spirited Trinity went other for another try as Kay crossed the line for his second, with Jowitt converting.
In the final few moments, Chester’s side missed the opportunity to level things, as Jacob Miller could not put a drop-goal attempt on target, with Wigan able to hold on to claim a victory in their first game since the restart.
Wakefield Trinity: Tony Gigot, Liam Kay, Reece Lyne, Bill Tupou, Tom Johnstone, Jacob Miller, Max Jowitt, Tinirau Arona, Kelepi Tanginoa, Jay Pitts, Craig Kopczak, Josh Wood, Romain Navarrete.
Interchanges: Kyle Wood, Danny Kirmond, Adam Tangata, David Fifta.
Tries: K. Wood (33′), Johnstone (65′), Kay (70,’ 77′)
Conversions: Gigot (1/3), Jowitt (1/1)
Penalties: Gigot (1/1)
Wigan Warriors: Bevan French, Dom Manfredi, Zak Hardaker, Jake Bibby, Liam Marshall, Jackson Hastings, Thomas Leuluai, Ethan Havard, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Liam Byrne, Sam Powell, Joe Bullock.
Interchanges: George Burgess, Mitch Clark, Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies.
Tries: Hardaker (14′), French (23′), Marshall (36′), Bibby (50′)
Conversions: Hardaker (3/4)
Drop-goal: Harry Smith (77′)