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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||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|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|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|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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