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Sam Burgess says Warrington Wolves ‘won’ against Wigan Warriors

Sam Burgess

Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors met in a dress rehearsal for the Challenge Cup final, with Wigan coming out on top of a tight encounter. Sam Burgess named a much changed Warrington side for the clash.

Wigan Warriors were heavy favourites for the game, once the team news was announced. Warrington’s squad featured nine changes from their win against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan, and when their 17 man squad was announced, it featured four debutants – Cai Taylor-Wray, Jake Thewlis, Nolan Tupaea and Ben Hartill.

However, despite predictions that Warrington would struggle, Warrington raced into a 12 point lead, thanks to a penalty from Stefan Ratchford and tries from Arron Lindop and Josh Drinkwater. However, Wigan strick back before half time, scoring a three try blitz through Junior Nsemba, Liam Marshall and Kruise Leeming.

Harry Smith slotted a decisive drop goal on the stroke of half time, before Stefan Ratchford scored Warrington’s final try to set up a nervy finish. However, the game was defined by a red card for Adam Keighran, who risks missing the Challenge Cup final.

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Sam Burgess proud of young team

Warrington Wolves

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Burgess could not hide his pride in his young side. Up against a strong Wigan side, Burgess took great pleasure from seeing his side compete. He believes his side leave the ground having secured a win, even if they did not take home two precious competition points.

“I’m really proud of the team, we played a really young side. Four boys on debut and 10 guys out of our scholarship system.

“It was probably the most enjoyable game of the year, I am just so proud of them. They were up against a great Wigan side and were right in it up until the end.

“I’m really happy with the way played and even though we didn’t get the two point, I think that’s a win for us.”

Wigan move back level with St Helens at the top of the Super League table on 20 points, although the Warriors have a game in hand. Warrington slip back to third, two points behind the leading back.

Speaking before the game, Burgess stated that he believed it was a great challenge for his young players. He believed the opportunity to make their debut in front of a large crowd would be invaluable.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for our young boys. They’re going to love taking on. We’re going to do our best in front of a big crowd. It’s a great place to make a debut.”

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