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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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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|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 Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|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|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
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