PICTURES EDDIE WHITHAM
WARRINGTON Wolves remain rooted to the foot of the Super League table after suffering their fourth successive loss, 38-16 at home to Wigan.
In a repeat of last season’s Grand Final, the Wolves were blown away by an under-strength Warriors side who continued their perfect start to the season.
For the Wolves, themselves missing key players in the shape of Stefan Ratchford, Chris Hill and Ben Currie, the defeat must raise concerns particularly given the relatively short 23-game season before the league splits.
Kurt Gidley started at full-back, with Harvey Livett named at scrum half alongside Kevin Brown, despite Declan Patton’s presence in the squad, as Warrington looked to bounce back from their defeats to Catalans, Castleford and Salford.
Wigan, meanwhile, had two rookie wingers in the outside backs, and one of them had his first Super League try inside five minutes, touching down from a precise George Williams kick.
It was not the start Warrington needed, and they were torn open on 14 minutes when Morgan Escare broke through the line and danced round Gidley, before being brought down by Brown.
From the play the ball, Williams took it close and then the Warriors shifted it right for a walk in try for Anthony Gelling.
Wigan forced a repeat set as Warrington struggled to get any ball in the Warriors half, and a cut-out pass sent Marshall over for his second try.
Williams was running the show, and he set up Liam Farrell for Wigan’s fourth try on the half hour mark and Wigan were threatening to run riot.
Warrington did bomb a glorious chance to get on the scoresheet minutes later, a wild pass by Livett denying Matty Russell the chance for what should have been a routine try in the right corner.
The Wolves did at least give themselves hope on the stroke of half-time, Tom Lineham stepping opposite number Liam Forsyth to race down the left flank and feeding the ball inside to Brown who then gave the ball to Atkins to finish off the move.
Gidley added the extras and the Wolves went in 6-20 down at half time.
The first score in the second half was always going to be crucial, and the hosts started encouragingly, piggybacked up the field by a couple of Wigan errors and penalties.
But the momentum was lost when Gidley flicked on a loose pass behind Matty Blythe and Marshall was able to pick the ball up and race in from 60 metres to secure a hat-trick try.
Once again the reigning Super League champions looked hungry in attack, and they were a ball’s width from adding another try, Joel Tomkins just not able to ground Sean O’Loughlin’s kick after another Escare-inspired break.
The lead was eventually stretched to 32-6 just shy of the hour mark, Wigan gifted field position by an Ashton Sims knock-on, enabling another youngster in Jack Wells to go over under the sticks after a great run and pass by Williams.
Rhys Evans pulled one back for Warrington but Wigan were never in danger, and young Marshall continued an incredible night for him with a fourth try in the left corner off Willie Isa’s pass.
Warrington had the scant consolation of the final score of the night, through Lineham, but it was another disappointing night.
The Wolves go searching for their first win of the season next Thursday, once again in front of the Sky Sports cameras, this time at newly promoted Leigh.
Warrington: Gidley, Russell, Blythe, Atkins, Lineham, Brown, Livett, Cooper, Clark, Sims, Hughes, Westwood, Westerman. Subs: Dwyer, Philbin, Savelio, Evans
Wigan: Escare, Forsyth, Gelling, Isa, Marshall, Williams, Leuluai, Nuuausala, Powell, Flower, Tomkins, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Subs: Club, Tautai, Navarrete, Wells.
— Warrington Wolves (@wolvesrl) March 10, 2017