Super League: Wakefield Trinity 10-16 Wigan Warriors
|Betfred Super League|
|Wakefield (10) 10|
|Tries: Grix, Jones-Bishop Goals: Finn|
|Wigan (12) 16|
|Tries: O'Loughlin, Escare, Marshall Goals: Escare 2|
Champions Wigan edged a grinding, scrappy Easter Monday game against Wakefield, with Liam Marshall's late try pulling them clear.
Sean O'Loughlin and Morgan Escare converted tries gave Wigan a narrow advantage, with Scott Grix and Ben Jones-Bishop scoring in reply.
Only Liam Finn's missed goals had kept Trinity off the lead, and they dug in during a hard-fought second period.
Both sides had chances chalked off before Marshall settled the encounter.
The double-header Easter period has previously delivered big scorelines, most notably last season when Wakefield won 62-0 in this fixture, as tiring teams battle with going back to back.
This game lacked the blow-out scoreline but did have some of the hallmarks of fatigue with errors, knock-ons and penalties punctuated by moments of skill.
Wigan, who recorded a morale-boosting derby win against Saints on Good Friday, made a flying start when O'Loughlin bashed his way over on the back of a Taulima Tautai raid.
Grix tracked a fine Ashley Gibson kick to bring Trinity within two, before call-and-response tries - by Escare from a George Williams pass and by Jones-Bishop's with a spectacular aerial leap - completed the first period scoring.
It looked as though the second half would remain locked in a point-free arm-wrestle thanks to the defensive mettle of both teams, before Marshall's late intervention from a basketball pass by the impressive Williams.
Wakefield head coach Chris Chester: "I thought we deserved something out of it. They were two evenly-matched sides and to not come away with anything is disappointing.
"The effort was fantastic, we just lacked any real patience down their end. If we had executed better, we may well have got something out of it. It was just the final pass and there were four or five penalties in the second half that really hurt us. We had to do it tough, as well, losing a couple of bodies early doors, we ran out of fit blokes at the end but there are lots to be pleased about.
"I thought we were really physical and defended very well. If we keep playing like that, we will win more than we lose. There were some really good efforts out there, unfortunately we just came up short."
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane: "It was a tough one last year in different circumstances and I'm glad to get back here and put things right a little bit, although we were way off to be honest.
"We had 50 per cent completion in the first half and there is no way you can a win game like that but we fixed it up in the second half.
"This is a hard place to come and they put us under pressure but we showed plenty of toughness to defend our line."
Wakefield: Grix; Jones-Bishop, Caton-Brown, Gibson, Johnstone; Miller, Finn; Huby, Wood, England, Ashurst, Hadley, Arona.
Replacements: Hirst, Allgood, Kirmond, Fifta.
Wigan: Escare; Davies, Gelling, Forysth, Marshall; Williams, Leuluai; Flower, Powell, Tautai, J.Tomkins, Farrell, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Nuuausala, Sutton, Gregson, Navarrete.
Sin Bin: Gelling (30).
Referee: Jack Smith (RFL).