Challenge Cup quarter-final: Warrington Wolves 26-27 Wigan Warriors
|Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final|
|Warrington (12) 26|
|Tries: Atkins (2), Savelio, Gidley Goals: Patton 5|
|Wigan (18) 27|
|Tries: Burgess (2), Marshall, Bateman Goals: Williams 5 Drop-goal: Tomkins|
Declan Patton missed a late drop-goal attempt for Warrington as Wigan held on to reach the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
With the score 27-26 at the death, Stefan Ratchford missed a penalty from the halfway line to win it, before Patton put wide from even closer.
Two tries from Joe Burgess and one for Liam Marshall had put Wigan 18-12 ahead despite Ryan Atkins' double for Wolves.
John Bateman crossed after the break, and Kurt Gidley and Andre Savelio went over for Wolves before the late drama.
But it was Sam Tomkins' second-half drop goal, on his return from injury, that separated the two sides as Patton missed the chance to send it to golden point extra-time.
A frantic finish
Gidley's late try made it a nervous few moments for Wigan, who duly sent the kick-off straight into touch, giving Ratchford the chance to win the match from the tee.
He sent it wide of the posts but there was just enough time for one last Warrington push to a drop-goal position. Under pressure from onrushing Warriors players, Patton could not get the ball through the posts.
Patton was a late replacement for Kevin Brown, who pulled out with a foot injury in the warm-up, and found his side 12-0 down early in the first half after two tries from Burgess - the second a superb diving finish under pressure on the touchline.
But Atkins drew his side level when he latched on to two pinpoint kicks, only for Marshall to sneak through the Wolves defence with relative ease to put Wigan back in front.
A penalty from George Williams, perfect from the tee all afternoon, extended the advantage, before Savelio got on the end of a slick move and a Patton penalty drew the sides level once more.
Bateman, making his first start since February, then found the gap to cross to put Wigan ahead for a third time and Tomkins made it a two-score game, ultimately putting the game beyond Wolves.
Warrington head coach Tony Smith:
"We were very close in a couple of ways but I suppose when you look back over the game a few of those errors have cost us.
"The spirit was there, they had a real crack, some of my boys were carrying some stuff there. Character-wise, I can't be critical."
On Declan Patton's late miss: "It's all part of the learning process and that's how you become a great player of the future. He'll get better from it, he did some really good things for us today."
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane told BBC Radio Manchester:
"We could easily have lost that which would have been frustrating because I thought we did enough to win it comfortably.
"We gave ourselves a lot to do, cheap plays, unforced errors and the penalty count was against us again. So I'll have a look at that and our discipline in a serious manner.
"Warrington were never going to lie down, they showed a lot of desire to stay in that game and makes that victory a bit more sweeter."
Warrington: Ratchford, Dagger, Hughes, Atkins, Lineham, Brown, Gidley, Cooper, Clark, Sims, Jullien, Philbin, Westerman.
Replacements: Dwyer, G. King, Savelio, S. Wilde, S. Wilde.
Wigan: S. Tomkins, Marshall, Gelling, Gildart, Burgess, Williams, Leuluai, Nuuausala, McIlorum, J. Tomkins, Bateman, Farrell, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Isa, Sutton, Powell, Tautai.
Referee: Ben Thaler