With both sides knocked out of the Challenge Cup, the Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors went head-to-head with all eyes on the Super League run-in.
Following a break in play for a head knock to Joe Greenwood, the Warrington Wolves caught Wigan asleep in defence.
A crossfield kick from Stefan Ratchford was not claimed by Jake Mamo, but the winger was taken out in the air by Willie Isa, who was ultimately sent to the sin-bin.
With the extra man, Ratchford found space and crossed but was held up by the Warriors.
Wigan were still down to 12 when Ratchford made another break down the left.
He put in a deft kick into the corner for Matty Ashton to chase, but the youngster was pulled back by Dominic Manfredi and the Wolves were awarded a penalty try.
On the 20th minute mark, Warrington’s lead was doubled as Chris Hill charged over the line underneath the posts and managed to ground the ball despite the presence of multiple Wigan defenders.
Wigan did manage to grab a try back after Blake Austin lost the ball on his own 40-metre line.
Oli Partington got to within 5-metres, and the ball was then spread right to Joe Greenwood and the second-rower crossed untouched.
As the half came towards an end, Wigan were pushing for a second try, and level up towards the break, but the goal-line defence from Warrington was too strong.
HALF-TIME: Warrington Wolves 12-6 Wigan Warriors
It took the Warriors four minutes to level the scores as a sweeping move from the right side ended with a kick from Blake Austin bounced into the arms of Zak Hardaker for an easy try.
With half an hour to go, the Wolves won a penalty, and after some confusing, chose to take the two points from the tee.
With an hour gone, Warrington came close to extending their lead but Anthony Gelling couldn’t ground the ball over the line.
The Wolves were then tasked with defending and did so solidly for over ten minutes.
However, with five minutes to go, the Warriors crossed.
The intense pressure on the Warrington line tolled as Harry Smith took the ball to the line, and popped the ball short to Liam Farrell rather than out the back to Bevan French and the second rower crashed over.
Hardaker converted to make it 14-18 with three minutes on the clock.
Warrington couldn’t break through though and Wigan picked up the two points.
FULL-TIME: Warrington Wolves 14-18 Wigan Warriors
Ratchford, Mamo, Gelling, King, Charnley, Austin, Widdop, Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, J. Clark
Interchanges: Philbin, Davis, Robson, Ashton
Tries: penalty, Hill
Goals: Ratchford (3/3)
French, Manfredi, Isa, Hardaker, Bibby, Leuluai, Hastings, Bullock, Powell, Partington, Greenwood, Farrell, O’Loughlin
Interchanges: Smithies, Smith, Singleton, Shorrocks
Tries: Greenwood, Hardaker, Farrell
Goals: Hardaker (3/3)
Referee: C. Kendall
Touch Judges: S. Mikalauskas, M. Griffiths
Video Referee: B. Thaler
Image Source: @WiganWarriors (twitter)