Wigan Warriors 14-26 Warrington Wolves: Blake Austin and Toby King solo tries help seal Magic Weekend win
By Marc Bazeley at Anfield
Last Updated: 26/05/19 11:16am
Solo tries from Blake Austin and Toby King helped Warrington Wolves pile more misery on Wigan Warriors as they rounded off day one of Super League's Magic Weekend at Anfield with a 26-14 win.
The repeat of last year's Grand Final produced a cagey start, but a converted try followed by a penalty from Declan Patton put Warrington 8-2 up at half-time after Zak Hardaker had kicked Wigan into the lead.
But although the defending Super League champions managed to get back on level terms within the first quarter of an hour after the break, Austin and King's converted scores - plus three more penalties from Patton - saw the Wolves surge clear and cement their grip on second place.
Warriors head coach Adrian Lam will also be sweating on the fitness of Joe Greenwood, who was taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs after being forced off in the first half, and Taulima Tautai after he suffered a head injury.
Both teams went into this encounter seeking to rebound from losses the previous Saturday and there was little quarter given in the opening exchanges as the defences proved difficult to break down.
The first real scoring opportunity of the match went to Wigan when they were awarded a penalty on the edge of Warrington's 20-metre zone in the 17th minute and they duly took it, with Hardaker slotting over his kick at goal.
But it was the Wolves who got the first try of the game five minutes later. Broken play led to winger Tom Lineham hacking the ball forward twice wide on the left, and scrum-half Patton followed up to apply the finishing touch and convert after the video referee had given it the all-clear.
The 24-year-old then added a penalty in the 35th minute and Warrington could well have been further ahead at half time had some timely defence from full-back Hardaker not halted a rampaging run from interchange man Ben Murdoch-Masila just metres from the line.
Wigan made the brighter start to the second half and got their rewards on 47 minutes after forcing ex-Warriors player Josh Charnley to knock on 10 metres from his own line, followed by Warrington conceding a penalty after Jake Shorrocks was held up over the line.
It was Burgess who got the score, with a cut-out pass from stand-off George Williams finding the winger wide on the left for him to evade the clutches of the defence and dot down for an unconverted try.
Hardaker's second successful penalty of the match five minutes later levelled the scores as Warrington struggled to get out of their own half, but another moment of magic from Austin saw them retake the lead in the 55th minute.
The Man of Steel contender, who picked up the man of the match accolade, broke from around 35 metres out and sliced his way through the defence to score, with Patton adding the extras.
Then just after the hour mark came the game-breaking moment as Warrington swiftly turned defence into attack, with Charnley pouncing on a loose ball and then offloading to King for him to leave the Wigan players trailing in his wake as he raced away from deep inside his own half to score.
Patton converted and added three more penalties to keep the scoreboard ticking over in favour of his side - taking his tally for the match to 18 points - and although Willie Isa managed to get over for a converted try six minutes from time, there was to be no late flourish as the Wolves kept up the pursuit of leaders St Helens.
Man of Steel contender Blake Austin was again at the heart of things for Warrington Wolves as they defeated Wigan Warriors at Anfield.
Warrington head coach Steve Price was delighted with how his side bounced back from a defeat at home to Hull FC the previous week.