Wigan battle to tough win of rugged Wakefield

The Wigan Warriors and Wakefield Trinity faced off at the Halliwell Jones Stadium as they wrapped up round 13, with a tough clash in the rain.

Following a niggly start between the two sides, Wakefield were given the first chance to attack from decent field position following a penalty by Bevan French.

Jacob Miller collected the ball at first receiver, stepped inside Willie Isa, and then brushed off Sam Powell, and was too close to the line to be stopped by Thomas Leuluai and scored the first try of the night.

In the 17th minute, Wakefield doubled their lead out of nowhere.

Tinirau Arona ran a strong hard line, and Jordan Crowther popped the ball from the ruck for the forward to crash over.

With 15 minutes to go until the break, the Warriors finally hit back after a period of sustained pressure.

Jackson Hastings put Liam Farrell through a huge gap, and with just Alex Walker to beat, passed back inside to the half-back, who ran around under the posts to score.

Three minutes later, Wigan grabbed an easy second.

The ball was shifted from the right side of the field, to the left, with Hastings playing the ball out the back to French, who released Joe Burgess.

Burgess made sure the try was scored by passing back inside the French for another try under the posts.

WIth seconds to go until the break, Tony Gigot attempted a rushed one-pointer but it was wide of the mark, and the sides went in level at the break.

HALF-TIME: Wigan Warriors 12-12 Wakefield Trinity

Wakefield were dominating the opening stages of the second half, with Tom Johnstone nearly crossing in the 51st minute.

However, Jake Bibby clattered the Trinity winger into touch.

With an hour gone, the Warriors began to work themselves back into the game.

Oliver Partington crashed the ball to within two metres, and Sam Powell spotted a gap next to the ruck and burrowed under the sticks to take the lead.

The try was awarded despite hints of a knock-on and then Hardaker converted for 18-12.

Five minutes later, a crossfield kick from Miller was tapped down in the contest by either Johnstone or Bibby, with the ball then landing in the hands of Bill Tupou who grounded for a score.

However, on video review, the ball was deemed to have come forward off Johnstone.

The Warriors went straight back up the opposite end, and looked to have moved further ahead after Oliver Gildart powered over on the left edge for a ten-point lead.

In the 68th minute, French picked up his double, and his 12th of the season.

A sweeping play over the the right, was finished off when Leuluai straightened up and push the pass out the back to French.

The full-back then stepped back inside off the right foot, leaving two Trinity defenders in his wake, and then ran in for the score.

Hardaker converted to make it 28-12.

With nine minutes to go, Alex Walker went close on the right-edge as he attempted to stretch over the line.

However Jake Bibby got his body under the ball and twisted the ball away from the floor.

With five minutes to go, Wakefield finally crossed as the ball was shifted to Johnstone and the winger did enough to beat the tackle of Bibby, and then keep his feet in the air for his seventh of the season.

In the 77th minute, Liam Farrell made a break from his own half-way line following a knock-on from Crowther, and looked on for a certain try until Johnstone came across from the opposite wing and wrapped up man and ball over the line.

Wigan had the ball inside the Trinity ten-metre line in the final 20-seconds but Mitch Clark was tackled on the hooter.

FULL-TIME: Wigan Warriors 28-16 Wakefield Trinity


Wigan Warriors

French, J. Burgess, Gildart, Hardaker, Bibby, Hastings, Leuluai, Flower, Powell, Havard, Farrell, Isa, Partington

Interchanges: Clark, Shorrocks, Smith, Wells

Tries: Hastings, French (2), Powell, Gildart

Goals: Hardaker (4/5)

Wakefield Trinity

Walker, Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Gigot, Kopczak, Crowther, Arona, Tanginoa, Pitts, Westerman

Interchanges: K. Wood, Ashurst, Green, Tangata

Tries: Miller, Arona, Johnstone

Goals: Gigot (2/3)

Referee: J. Child

Touch Judges: T. Grant, J. Vella

Video Referee: M. Griffiths

Image Source: @WiganWarriorsRL (twitter)

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