Result from BigFellas Stadium
Featherstone Rovers 16
T - Saxton, Hardman, Raynor
G - Finn 2
Wigan Warriors 32
T - O'Loughlin, Goulding, Hock 2, Leuluai, Charnley
G - S Tomkins, Charnley 3
Cup holders Wigan progressed to the Quarter Finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a hard fought 16-32 win over Featherstone Rovers at the Big Fellas Stadium on Friday night.
This was a rough tough encounter as Rovers produced the performance of their lives and led 8-6 and 12-10 and even when Wigan opened up a 10 point lead Rovers kept battling to score a try to keep their hopes alive before a fifth Wigan try brought the lead back into double figures and a further touchdown late on and the Super League side had done enough to go into Tuesday's draw.
O'Loughlin, Hock twice, Goulding, Leuluai and Charnley were the try scorers for Wigan.
Wigan were forced into a late change with George Carmont pulling out with a quad injury, Jack Hughes replaced him in the centre with Anthony Gelling on the left wing for the injured Pat Richards. Lee Mossop returned to the side after a successful run out in the Warriors reserve grade last weekend. For Rovers Gareth Raynor was brought in on the wing for Ropati.
The Warriors took the lead on 3 minutes with their first attack, a Finch pass to O'Loughlin which Briggs looked to intercept and the Wigan skipper in space was over for the try, Sam Tomkins added the goal, 0-6.
A quick tap penalty on 12 minutes and Featherstone got themselves into a good position with a break down the right but Hepworth wasted the chance with a chip kick when referee Silverwood had given Rovers six more tackles deep in Wigan territory.
On 21 minutes, Gelling lost the ball deep inside his own half and quick hands from Finn to winger Saxton saw the former Castleford man score a try in the corner. Finn missed the conversion from out wide, 4-6.
Within a couple of minutes Rovers were in again, a Finn kick and Hardman given the nod by the video referee for the grounding and Finn hit the extras to give the home side a shock 10-6 lead.
Wigan responded almost immediately with a swift move to the right and Darrell Goulding was in for the Warriors second try of the night in the right hand corner. Sam Tomkins missed the conversion, 10 all.
On 32 minutes a burst from Sam Tomkins and his pass looked to send in Anthony Gelling but the try was denied by the video referee for obstruction in the build-up.
Wigan were penalised for holding down in the tackle in front of their own posts and Finn hit a penalty to give Rovers a 12-10 lead.
The Warriors themselves had the chance to draw level with a penalty but took the tap and were unable to take the advantage.
Rovers were again penalised and a great short pass from Brett Finch sent Gareth Hock through with power and pace as the half drew to a close, Charnley added the conversion and Wigan led 12-16 at the break.
The home side looked for an early score, a Raynor kick inside as he ran out of room but great defence by Sam Tomkins snubbed the chance for Featherstone.
Wigan needed a try and they got it on 53 minutes, a spell of Warriors pressure and Thomas Leuluai stretched over from a short ball for the four points and Charnley hit an excellent goal to at last give Shaun Wane's men an advantage at 12-22.
The Championship were not done, Wigan lost possession and Rovers broke from deep inside their own half and Gareth Raynor was in for the try after Finn broke clear, Finn missed the extras 16-22 and all of a sudden it was game on again.
On 67 minutes Wigan scored a decisive try a great pass from Tommy Leuluai opened up the home side out wide and Josh Charnley was in for the Warriors 5th try of the evening, the winger missed the extras 16-26 but another 10 point advantage for the cherry and whites.
Wigan missed the chance to finish the cup tie off but Gelling was unable to ground the ball in the corner.
A late Hock try his second sealed the win which Charnley goaled and it ended 16-32.
There were some huge efforts from a number of Wigan players, Hock, McIlorum and O'Loughlin all stood tall.
The Warriors will be glad they are in the last eight of the competition against what proved to be as expected a determined Championship side on their own turf, it was a win and job done.
Team News -
Featherstone Rovers - Ian Hardman, Gareth Raynor, Sam Smeaton, Greg Worthington, Tommy Saxton, Kyle Briggs, Liam Finn, Micky Haley, Ben Kaye, Stuart Dickens, James Lockwood, Tim Spears, Jon Hepworth
Replacements - Andy Kain, Dom Moloney, Jon Grayshon, Anthony England
Wigan Warriors - Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Jack Hughes, Anthony Gelling, Brett Finch, Thomas Leuluai, Paul Prescott, Michael McIlorum, Jeff Lima, Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin
Replacements - Lee Mossop, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki
Referee - Richard Silverwood