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Wolves tear Warriors apart
Major psychological blow ahead of play-offs
Warrington moved to within a point of Wigan with an almost totally dominant 30-10 victory over the Stobart Super League leaders.
The Wolves were the better side from start to finish as they chalked up their fifth straight league victory over the Warriors.
There was no hint that Warrington have a Challenge Cup final to play in just two weeks' time as they took charge from the first minute.
Warrington's defence barely gave Wigan a sniff of a chance as the visitors failed to find any rythym or continuity with ball-in-hand.
The Wolves will now feel they can overhaul Wigan at the top of Super League and retain their League Leaders' Shield, but maybe more importantly they have struck a major psychological blow ahead of any play-off meeting between the top two.
Warrington's rampaging forwards, superbly led by Ben Westwood and Chris Hill, laid the platform for a blistering start which brought them two tries in the first seven minutes.
Wolves' evergreen stand-off Lee Briers marked his 400th appearance by setting up the game's first try.
The former skipper, who this week signed a new contract for 2013, seized on the first of a series of handling errors by the visitors and was only denied a try by a superb last-ditch tackle by Wigan centre George Carmont.
However, the Warriors' defence were not able to regroup in time to prevent Westwood crossing wide out for the game's first try.
The leaders had not recovered from that shock when Hill bumped off Lee Mossop's attempted tackle to get loose forward Ben Harrison over for a second try and Brett Hodgson's second goal made it 12-0.
Wingmen Joel Monaghan and Chris Riley went close to adding to the scores as Warrington dominated proceedings but Wigan pulled a try back nine minutes before half-time when second-rower Gareth Hock forced his way over from a tap penalty five metres out.
Josh Charnley's goal cut Warrington's lead to six points but it was back up to 10 by half-time after Monaghan took Hodgson's clearly forward pass to grab a third try in controversial fashion.
The Wolves left to a standing ovation at half-time and the home crowd had plenty more to cheer in the second half.
Hodgson extended his side's lead with a penalty and converted an 80-metre try from centre Stefan Ratchford, who collected a wayward kick from Wigan scrum-half Matty Smith and showed a clean pair of heels to his pursuers.
Warrington's errors were few and far between but, when Briers failed to find touch with a penalty, Wigan took advantage to create an overlap, with Carmont sending Iain Thornley over for a try.
But it did little to upset the general pattern of the game and Warrington duly extended their lead when scrum-half Richie Myler took Michael Monagan's pass to cross for a fifth try and Hodgson kicked his fifth goal.
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First Utility Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||3||2|
|10||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield Wildcats vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th March|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R|
|Thursday 12th March|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs Castleford|
|Friday 13th March|
|20:00||Warrington vs Leeds|
|20:00||Wigan vs Hull|
|20:00||Widnes vs St Helens|
|First Utility Super League|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Widnes Vikings 16 - 58 Wakefield Wildcats|
|Hull K R 22 - 20 Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Salford Red Devils 32 - 28 Hull FC|
|Catalans Dragons 38 - 18 Warrington Wolves|
|Friday 27th February|
|St Helens 21 - 14 Castleford Tigers|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
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