Ben Currie try boosts Warrington’s top-eight finish hopes in win over Wigan
Ben Currie marked the end of his long injury nightmare with the winning try as Warrington kept alive their faint hopes of a top-eight finish, spoiling Sean O’Loughlin’s landmark 400th Wigan appearance in the process.
Last season’s Grand Finalists knew anything other than victory here would consign them to this summer’s Qualifiers, where they would face the Championship’s best sides in a battle to avoid relegation to the second tier. While this victory may prove only temporary respite – a win for Huddersfield on Friday night would confirm Warrington’s bottom-four place – this was a welcome victory for Tony Smith’s side.
How fitting it was that Currie, who has not played since late September after suffering a horrendous knee injury against Wigan last season, scored the try that kept the Wolves’ hopes of a place in the Super 8s alive come the split later this month.
For Wigan, a night that was supposed to be a celebration for their talismanic captain ended in frustration. Back-to-back victories had consigned their worst winless run since 1903 firmly to the past but this was a worrying regression for the champions. They could now end the weekend six points adrift of the top four with eight games remaining.
The hosts actually led after little over a minute; Warrington made a mess of the kick-off and Oliver Gildart touched down a pinpoint Thomas Leuluai kick. At that stage it looked as if it would be a comfortable night for the Warriors, but tries from Benjamin Jullien and Ryan Atkins either side of one by John Bateman kept the contest tight at half-time, Wigan leading 10-8.
There were only eight points in a nerve-jangling second half – and all of them went to the visitors, as Currie’s crucial try put the Wolves ahead for the first time, before two late Stefan Ratchford penalties rounded off the scoring.
Wigan Tomkins; Marshall, Gelling, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Leuluai; Nuuausala, McIlorum, Sutton, Isa, Bateman, O’Loughlin. Interchange Clubb, Powell, Tautai, Wells.
Tries Gildart, Bateman. Goals Williams.
Warrington Ratchford; Hiku, Pomeroy, Atkins, Lineham; Patton, Gidley; Hill, Clark, Sims, Jullien, Hughes, Cooper. Interchange Currie, Savelio, Philbin, Smith.
Tries Jullien, Atkins, Currie. Goals Ratchford 2.
Referee J Child.