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Super League: Wigan beat Warrington in hard-fought contest
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Warrington were unable to gain revenge for their loss in last year's Super League Grand Final as they slipped to a 12-4 defeat to Wigan at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Warriors, who came from behind to beat the Wolves at Old Trafford in October, this time hung on after taking an early lead in an error-strewn game played in difficult conditions.
Liam Farrell and Blake Green ran in tries for Wigan, while Matty Smith's two goals gave the visitors a commanding 12-0 lead deep into the second half.
Warrington could only muster an interception try from Gene Ormsby as they struggled throughout to create any traditional scoring opportunities.
Warrington captain Ben Westwood, roundly booed by Wigan fans with memories of his swinging arm on Green at Old Trafford, had predicted a tasty affair and was not disappointed.
Tempers simmered throughout a first half which produced just one try but plenty of hard-hitting defence, particularly from the Warriors.
The champions were the more fluent and inventive side and opened the scoring after 10 minutes as Joe Burgess took Matty Bowen's pass to race clear before sending Farrell over.
Smith's conversion made it 6-0 and Warrington were grateful the score stayed that way for the next 26 minutes as they struggled to make much impression on the visitors' defence.
The Warriors had two tries disallowed in the space of a minute, with video referee Steve Ganson ruling second-rower John Bateman had failed to ground the ball over the line before match referee Phil Bentham brought back centre Iain Thornley for a forward pass.
They eventually increased their advantage with a penalty from Smith four minutes before the break but an 8-0 lead was scant reward for their domination.
The Wolves' handling errors did not stop after half-time and they were punished after 50 minutes when a short pass from Wigan substitute Eddy Pettybourne got Farrell charging into space and Green was on hand to score his side's second try.
Smith's conversion attempt came back off an upright and Wigan's lead was cut to eight points on the hour when Ormsby picked off Bowen's pass to sprint 60 metres for an opportunist try.
Stefan Ratchford failed with his goal kick but the score sparked the home side into producing their best spell of the match.
The Warriors defence continued to hold firm, however, and Wigan never looked like losing the lead they had battled so hard to establish.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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