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Warrington 22 Wigan 12

Warrington Wolves former Wigan hooker Mick Higham pounced for the match-winning try seven minutes from the end of a titanic tussle to halt Wigan's 3-match winning run.
Warrington 22 Wigan 12
by rleague.com

Warrington Wolves former Wigan hooker Mick Higham pounced for the match-winning try seven minutes from the end of a titanic tussle to halt the Wigan Warriors 13-match winning run.

Wigan looked to have put one hand on the league leaders' shield after coming from 10-0 down at half-time to lead 12-10 with the aid of Sam Tomkins' 23rd try of the Super League season.

But Higham came up with the decisive score after chasing a kick by winger Chris Riley and prop Chris Hill, a one-time Wigan fan, sealed a famous victory for the Wolves when he powered his way over three minutes from the end for a fourth try.

The win, in a clash which fully lived up to its billing as the most eagerly-awaited match of the season in front of a passionate 14,028 crowd, moves Warrington to within a point of second-placed Huddersfield Giants and to within four of their arch rivals with eight rounds left of the regular season.

It was fitting that Hill should apply the finishing touches for he had done more than anyone to help lay a solid foundation for his side's 10-0 interval lead with a series of barnstorming runs out of defence.

Wigan went into the game without eight senior players because of injury but there was little to choose between the sides in a first half dominated by crunching defence, with Warrington taking the two chances that came their way.

Lee Briers' short pass got England second rower Ben Westwood crashing over on seven minutes and his perfectly-executed grubber kick to the corner eluded Wigan's Pat Richards but held up nicely for winger Joel Monaghan to claim his 19th try of the campaign.

Wigan had their fair share of possession and, with Sam Tomkins probing dangerously, they put the home side's defence under intense pressure.

However, the Wolves held firm, scrambling superbly to prevent both Sam Tomkins and Richards grounding the ball after they got over their line while Briers pulled off a timely interception, juggling with the ball before relieving the incessant pressure.

It took some trademark wizardry from Sam Tomkins to eventually unlock the Warrington defence 90 seconds into the second half.

The Wolves put themselves under pressure when Richie Myler was brought back for a forward pass 20 metres out and Sam Tomkins took Matty Smith's pass to jink his way over for his side's first try, his 23rd of the season which edged him in front of team-mate Josh Charnley at the top of the chart.

Richards' conversion cut the deficit to four points and he put Wigan in front on 50 minutes when converting a try from centre Anthony Gelling, who took Sam Tomkins' pass to cross.

As play swung from end to end, Charnley was brought down just short while Wigan were forced to scramble after Myler had turned defence into attack with a break from his own 20-metre area.

Wigan prop Dom Crosby then produced the most eye-catching moment of the match with a 50-metre break while centre Ryan Atkins went desperately lose to snatching it for Warrington only to lose the ball going for the line.

With time running out, Higham came up with the crucial score, pouncing on Riley's kick after the ball eluded both Charnley and Sam Tomkins, before Hill powered his way over from close range.

Warrington Wolves 22
Tries: Ben Westwood, Joel Monaghan, Micky Higham, Chris Hill
Goals: Brett Hodgson 3

Wigan Warriors 12
Tries: Sam Tomkins, Anthony Gelling
Goals: Pat Richards 2

Date: Monday 24th June 2013
Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium
Crowd: 14,028
Referee: Phi Bentham
Half Time: Warrington 10-0




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