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Super League: Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves battle to thrilling draw
Matty Smith and Lee Briers exchanged late drop-goals as Wigan and Warrington battled out a thrilling 17-17 draw at the DW Stadium.
It is only round two of Super League XVII but this game had Grand Final intensity from first to last and a point apiece was probably about right.
There was never more than four points in it and with the teams locked on 16-apiece, first Smith and then Briers - with two minutes left - knocked over one-pointers.
An early error from Josh Charnley gave Warrington the first chance to mount sustained pressure and they were rewarded when the ball was swept the width of the pitch before Lee Briers' long cut-out pass put Joel Monaghan in at the corner, with Brett Hodggson converting from the touchline.
Wigan hit back within five minutes, as Matty Smith first forced a drop-out with a neat grubber kick, then provided the pass for Darrell Goulding to flick into the arms of Charnley for a score, although Pat Richards could not convert.
The Warriors' pace around the play-the-ball had Warrington wobbling and on 22 minutes a superb offload from Sean O'Loughlin gave Liam Farrell the space to put Ben Flowers in under the posts, and this time Richards added the extras.
Back came the Wolves as Charnley dropped Briers' high kick and the ball was once again shipped out to the right wing for Joel Monaghan to cross in the same corner, although this time Hodgson missed the kick.
On the stroke of half-time Garreth Carvell knocked on and then hit Blake Green with a high tackle, giving Richards the chance to edge Wigan ahead 12-10.
Richie Myler's brilliant sidestep completely bamboozled the Wigan sliding defence, with Hodgson converting, before Green's dummy and well-timed pass put Farrell in, with Richards levelling the scores.
Warrington could have gone ahead in the closing stages, but Simon Grix was held up over the line by Smith and Sam Tomkins, before Hodgson knocked on with a try looking certain.
Smith's drop-goal looked premature with nine minutes left and so it proved as Briers had time to reply, the ball ricocheting in off the upright.
Both men tried long-range efforts before the hooter but this game really did not deserve a loser.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||25||21|
|11||Salford Red Devils||24||19|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||24||8|
|Saturday 30th August|
|17:00||Catalan Dragons vs London Broncos|
|Sunday 31st August|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Salford|
|15:30||Castleford vs Bradford|
|Thursday 4th September|
|20:00||St Helens vs Warrington|
|Friday 5th September|
|20:00||Wigan vs Leeds|
|Sunday 7th September|
|15:00||Salford vs London Broncos|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Catalan Dragons|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Bradford vs Widnes|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Friday 29th August|
|Widnes 24 - 10 Wigan|
|Hull 28 - 0 Hull K R|
|Leeds 12 - 13 St Helens|
|Thursday 28th August|
|Warrington 24 - 24 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 17th August|
|Bradford 34 - 28 Hull|
|London Broncos 40 - 36 Leeds|
|Huddersfield 28 - 14 Widnes|
|Friday 15th August|
|St Helens 40 - 16 Wakefield|
|Warrington 48 - 10 Castleford|
|Salford 34 - 22 Catalan Dragons|
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