Warrington Wolves 6-13 Wigan Warriors: Player ratings, highlights and talking points

For the second week in a row Warrington Wolves found themselves in a top of the table clash as they looked to extend their unbeaten record against second-placed Wigan Warriors.

Wire had started the 2023 season with eight wins from eight and look to be a completely different team from that of 2022 where they faltered and finished 11th.

Facing Challenge Cup holders Wigan this was their biggest test of the season, particularly given Matt Peet’s men headed into this matchup off the back of a win over rivals St Helens.

The game looked set to be a test of which side is currently best placed to push into the second third of the season and really chase the League Leaders’ Shield.


Wigan start fastest
It was Wigan who opened the scoring in the fifth minute and that came off the back of having pinned the Wire in their 20. They forced a goal-line drop-out and managed to score via Jake Wardle after quick hands from full-back Bevan French.

Play-off level intensity from Wigan
For approximately a ten minute period between minutes 10 and 20 the home side hardly got out of their own half. The incredible line speed from Wigan forced errors, limited yards and ultimately put the ball back in their hands. It didn’t put points on the board but it put money in the bank for late on as it drained Warrington’s men of their energy.

Super-sub O’Neill
Just minutes after coming on Brad O’Neill got his name in the scorebooks, collecting a Bevan French chip before slamming the ball down. On first viewing it certainly looked like he dropped it as he extended over the line but the video referee confirmed the good news for the visitors who went 10-0 up just before the half hour mark.

Nicholson strikes against former club
After effectively 35 minutes of defending in their own half Warrington were able to release some of that pressure through an intercept and a breakaway try. Matty Ashton, George Williams and Matt Dufty somehow managed to not score from the break but the Wire reset and shifted the ball from left to right to slide Nicholson in and strike back before the half.

Wigan kick on
The second-half didn’t see the intensity of the first half as was understandable given the energy-sapping surface. Points were at a premium and as such Wigan took any on offer, kicking a penalty early on before Harry Smith slotted a drop goal on the hour mark. Just minutes later he hit an incredible 40/20 which allowed Wigan to begin to turn the screw.

Wire see two tries overturned
Danny Walker and then Greg Minikin both crossed over in the second half but both times Chris Kendall adjudged them as no try, and the video referee supported him on that. The latter of the two scores came in the 79th minute and was met with a chorus of boos from the home fans, and will certainly be a talked-about decision.

Talking Points

Wet weather helps Wigan
In the rainy conditions it was a case of who would deal with them best and it was the Warriors who did so in spite of the fact they put two certain tries down. The first half saw Liam Marshall and the Bevan French both drop what looked to be easy cross-overs but in the end it didn’t matter.

One contentious try and two no-try calls
The Brad O’Neill try was one that was deemed questionable on both the offside decision and then the grounding yet it was merely glanced over by the video referee. On the other hand the two would-be Warrington tries were denied by both officials and it’s sure to fuel lots of debate.

Home crowd get loud
The atmosphere at the Halliwell Jones prior to kick off was incredible and so it should be with a record attendance of 15,026. What was incredibly noticeable was the way the mood dipped massively before the spike of Matty Nicholson’s try. Similarly the chorus of boos over officiating decisions show that there is plenty of passion back among the Wire fans after a disappointing season in 2022.

Player Ratings

Warrington Wolves
1 Matt Dufty – 7
2 Josh Thewlis – 5
3 Pete Mata’utia – 5
4 Stefan Ratchford – 7
5 Matty Ashton – 6
6 George Williams – 6
7 Josh Drinkwater – 7
14 Sam Kasiano – 4
16 Danny Walker – 7
10 Paul Vaughan – 6
11 Ben Currie – 5
12 Matty Nicholson – 6
12 Josh McGuire – 5
9 Daryl Clark N/A/
21 Greg Minikin – 6
34 Matty Russell – 5
24 Luke Thomas – 6

Wigan Warriors
2 Bevan French – 7
23 Abbas Miski – 7
3 Toby King – 7
4 Jake Wardle – 8
5 Liam Marshall – 6
19 Joe Shorrocks – 8
7 Harry Smith – 9
8 Brad Singleton – N/A
9 Sam Powell – N/A
10 Liam Byrne – 7
11 Willie Isa – 6
12 Liam Farrell – 8
15 Kaide Ellis – 6
16 Ethan Havard – 6
20 Patrick Mago – 6
17 Kai Pearce-Paul – 5
22 Brad O’Neill – 8

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1 month ago

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