PICTURES EDDIE WHITHAM
A STUNNING try from winger Joe Burgess in the dying seconds denied Warrington Wolves victory in a 24-24 draw against Wigan Warriors at Magic Weekend.
Burgess rose to claim a mountainous kick by George Williams to claim the crucial touchdown with less than a minute to go, though Williams missed what would have been a match-winning conversion from the touchline.
A draw was perhaps the fairest result after Warrington had fought back from 18-6 down to lead late on.
After the previous two games at St James’ Park in Newcastle had been fairly underwhelming one-sided affairs, this match lived up to its top billing.
It was first blood Wigan on eight minutes as winger Liam Marshall took on Sean O’Loughlin’s long pass to go in at the corner.
By the quarter of an hour mark though, it was all square, returning hooker Daryl Clark pouncing on a loose ball from a Chris Hill offload, with Stefan Ratchford converting for 6-6.
Both sides were guilty of making errors, but it was an interception thrown by Kevin Brown that would create the next try, again for Warriors winger Marshall whose second try put Wigan 12-6 up at the break.
Within six minutes of the restart, Marshall had his hat-trick, regathering his own kick via a deflection, for his seventh try against the Wolves this season, and his 13th in 12 Super League appearances.
The next score was crucial, and fortunately for Warrington it was they who got it.
Brown made up for his earlier error with a chip for Ratchford, who weaved through a handful of defenders to reduce the deficit to 18-10.
And Tony Smith’s side were right back in by the hour mark, Tom Lineham scoring down the left following a break, and Ratchford’s conversion made it 18-16.
The scores were level with 14 minutes to play, Ratchford taking a penalty after Wigan were penned for a high tackle.
Warrington had the momentum, but with 10 minutes to go found themselves behind, an obstruction gifting a kickable penalty for Wigan that Williams converted off the post.
But the Wolves wouldn’t go away and they hit the front for the first time in the game with just six minutes to go, Jack Hughes stepping inside to score a try, and Ratchford’s conversion gave Warrington a four point cushion.
It looked like the Wolves had done enough to secure the victory, but a crucial error from a Wigan drop out enabled them to build field position, and when Burgess got up to claim Williams’ kick, a draw was the best that Warrington could hope for, and so it proved.
The point at least moves the Wolves in to the top eight, with Catalans due to play Huddersfield tomorrow.
Wigan: Tierney, Davies, Forsyth, Burgess, Marshall, Williams, Woods, Nuuausala, McIlorum, Sutton, Isa, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Subs: Tomkins, Tautai, Wells, Field.
Warrington: Ratchford, Russell, Hughes, Atkins, Lineham, Brown, Gidley, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Julien, Westwood, Westerman. Subs: Dwyer, G King, Crosby, Philbin.