Having not won a game since they beat the Leigh Centurions just over six weeks ago, the Wigan Warriors needed to defeat the side one place above them in the Super League 2021 table to try and halt an alarming downward spiral.
Warrington came into the match looking for a sixth consecutive Super League victory having already claimed the scalps of St Helens and the Catalans Dragons in a season which is starting to show promise for them being in the mix when the race for Old Trafford really gets underway.
Warrington were odds on favourites with the bookies to extend their unbeaten run and send Wigan down to fifth below Hull FC on the win percentage league ladder.
There was an early onslaught from the Warriors, the first five minutes being played in the Warrington half, but great Wolves defence kept them from the line. With seven minutes on the clock, and on their first attack, Warrington opened the scoring with Connor Wrench collecting a Daryl Clark grubber kick to ground by the sticks. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
A reckless Oliver Gildart offload on fourteen went straight into the hands of Jake Mamo who sprinted seventy metres to store under the sticks. Ratchford added the extra two, Wigan already up against it and being punished for their errors.
It was as easy as shelling peas for the Wolves with a neat inter-passing move seeing Matt Davis take an inside pass from Blake Austin to walk over from five metres out. Ratchford added his third kick of the game for 18-0 after twenty-three minutes.
Wigan grabbed a lifeline on thirty-three Sam Powell taking a Kai Pearce-Paul pass to shrug off the last tackler and force the ball to the ground, Harry Smith added the conversion to reduce the arrears to twelve.
Ratchford missed a drop-goal attempt on thirty-eight as he looked to twist the knife, the Wolves going into the interval with an 18-6 lead.
In a copy of his first half try, Jake Mamo intercepted a Smith pass to again motor seventy metres to score under the uprights. Ratchford added the conversion, the Wolves back with their three converted tries advantage.
Wigan weren’t lying down and Willie Isa went in down the right wing after taking a Jackson Hastings pass ten from the line. Smith couldn’t add the extras, Wigan still with a big ask to get back on level terms.
On fifty-seven the Warriors were in again as Gildart grounded a Hastings soft grubber kick to the corner. Smith was again unable to add the extras, ten points now separating the two sides.
A Ratchford pass allowed Jack Hughes to crash over the line and take the game beyond Wigan on sixty-three. Ratchford was unable to convert from wide, Wigan again needing three tries inside fifteen minutes.
It was game over on seventy-two when Connor Roche was the inspiration for Ben Currie who hung around the shoulder of the youngster as he waltzed past three Wigan tacklers before finding the second rower in support to go in from ten metres. Ratchford added the conversion for a twenty-point lead.
A terrible short restart from Wigan gifted Mamo with his hat-trick try as he jumped to collect the hanging ball and run unopposed to the line. Ratchford added the conversion to bring up the forty.
Warrington never looked in any trouble as they secured their sixth successive Super League win, and Wigan never looked like they would cause their opponents any worries. Mamo will take the headlines with his hat-trick of tries but it was Austin and Ratchford who controlled the game and were the foundations for another big win.
Wigan Warriors: Hastings, Marshall, Gildart (T), Isa (T), Bibby, Smith (G), Leuluai, Havard, Powell (T), Partington, Farrell, Pearce-Paul, Smithies. Subs: Bullock, Byrne, O’Neill, Shorrocks.
Warrington Wolves: Thewlis, Lineham, Mamo (3T), Wrench (T), Charnley, Austin, Ratchford (6G), Hill, Clark D, Cooper, Currie (T), Hughes, Davis (T). Subs: Philbin, Mulhern, Clark J, Walker.
Referee: Robert Hicks.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12, 0-16, 0-18, 4-18, 6-18 : HT : 6-22, 6-24, 10-24, 14-24, 14-28, 14-32, 14-34, 14-38, 14-40 : FT.