Wolves tear Warriors apart
Major psychological blow ahead of play-offs
Last Updated: 11/08/12 7:00pm
Warrington moved to within a point of Wigan with an almost totally dominant 30-10 victory over the Stobart Super League leaders.
The Wolves were the better side from start to finish as they chalked up their fifth straight league victory over the Warriors.
There was no hint that Warrington have a Challenge Cup final to play in just two weeks' time as they took charge from the first minute.
Warrington's defence barely gave Wigan a sniff of a chance as the visitors failed to find any rythym or continuity with ball-in-hand.
The Wolves will now feel they can overhaul Wigan at the top of Super League and retain their League Leaders' Shield, but maybe more importantly they have struck a major psychological blow ahead of any play-off meeting between the top two.
Warrington's rampaging forwards, superbly led by Ben Westwood and Chris Hill, laid the platform for a blistering start which brought them two tries in the first seven minutes.
Wolves' evergreen stand-off Lee Briers marked his 400th appearance by setting up the game's first try.
The former skipper, who this week signed a new contract for 2013, seized on the first of a series of handling errors by the visitors and was only denied a try by a superb last-ditch tackle by Wigan centre George Carmont.
However, the Warriors' defence were not able to regroup in time to prevent Westwood crossing wide out for the game's first try.
The leaders had not recovered from that shock when Hill bumped off Lee Mossop's attempted tackle to get loose forward Ben Harrison over for a second try and Brett Hodgson's second goal made it 12-0.
Wingmen Joel Monaghan and Chris Riley went close to adding to the scores as Warrington dominated proceedings but Wigan pulled a try back nine minutes before half-time when second-rower Gareth Hock forced his way over from a tap penalty five metres out.
Josh Charnley's goal cut Warrington's lead to six points but it was back up to 10 by half-time after Monaghan took Hodgson's clearly forward pass to grab a third try in controversial fashion.
The Wolves left to a standing ovation at half-time and the home crowd had plenty more to cheer in the second half.
Hodgson extended his side's lead with a penalty and converted an 80-metre try from centre Stefan Ratchford, who collected a wayward kick from Wigan scrum-half Matty Smith and showed a clean pair of heels to his pursuers.
Warrington's errors were few and far between but, when Briers failed to find touch with a penalty, Wigan took advantage to create an overlap, with Carmont sending Iain Thornley over for a try.
But it did little to upset the general pattern of the game and Warrington duly extended their lead when scrum-half Richie Myler took Michael Monagan's pass to cross for a fifth try and Hodgson kicked his fifth goal.
First Utility Super League
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves