Super League: Warrington Wolves 28-35 Wigan Warriors

By Jay FreemanBBC Sport
Ben Flower in action for Wigan
Ben Flower's red card against Warrington was his first sending off since his dismissal in the 2014 Grand Final
Super League
Warrington (16) 28
Tries: Russell, Gidley, Hill, Westerman, Currie Goals: Patton 4
Wigan (14) 35
Tries: Tierney 2, Tomkins, Charnley 2, Gelling Goals: Smith 3, Shorrocks 2 Drop goal: Smith

Wigan fought back to beat Warrington with 12 men, after Ben Flower was sent off, to take the fight for the League Leaders' Shield to the last round.

Tries from Matt Russell, Kurt Gidley and Chris Hill put Wolves 16-14 ahead at the break.

Ben Currie and Joe Westerman then went over to put Warrington 28-14 up.

While Flower then saw red for elbowing Declan Patton, Josh Charnley ran in two tries as Wigan scored 21 unanswered points in 20 minutes to win it.

The result means Wigan are level on points with second placed Hull in the Super 8s table, with one round left to play, and are just a point behind table-toppers Warrington.

But with Hull FC hosting Warrington at the KCOM Stadium, victory for either would secure them the League Leaders' Shield whatever Wigan's result because of their vastly superior points difference over the Warriors.

Lewis Tierney opened the scoring for Wigan inside two minutes, with Sam Tomkins going over at the end of the half to keep the visitors in touch after Gidley and Hill touched down for the Wire while they were down to 12 men themselves, following Stefan Ratchford's sin-binning.

The presentation of the League Leaders' Shield was made ready after Currie and Westerman went in, with Flower's sending off making any comeback seem a remote possibility.

Two quick tries from Charnley set up a dramatic finale, which saw Tierney help level scores at 28-28 with eight minutes remaining after video replays showed he had touched the ball down before his free hand went into touch.

But Matty Smith scored his ninth drop goal of the season and Anthony Gelling capped a stunning fightback to give Wigan what had seemed an unlikely two points.

Warrington coach Tony Smith: "We were in a position where you'd like to think you could close the game out, particularly against a team with a man down.

"(On Ratchford sin-binning and Flower red card) I was pretty confident the player was still sliding on the ground - if that is a sin-binning, we are going to see a lot of sin-binnings.

"I thought the sending off was harsh as well.

"We take ownership of our performance and my players had enough chances to win that game but I thought there were some big decisions in that game, some made by the players and some by the officials."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane: "(On Flower's dismissal) If you slow anything down, it can make it look bad - I didn't see much in that, I'm sure it will be seen the correct way.

"We were under pressure against a team playing really well. I thought it was a great effort and, for guts and determination, it's a fantastic win.

"To overcome that adversity makes it really satisfying. We have that unbreakable spirit and trust in each other."

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Russell, King, Atkins, Evans, Gidley, Patton, Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Hughes, Westerman.

Replacements: Wilde, King, Dwyer, Philbin.

Wigan Warriors: S Tomkins, Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Tierney, Williams, Smith, Nuuausala, Powell, Flower, Bateman, Farrell, Isa.

Replacements: Crosby, Tautai, Sutton, Shorrocks.

Referee: Robert Higgs.

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