FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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First-half scores from Luke Dyer and Ian Hardman gave Rovers a 10-0 interval lead and, despite tries after the break by Trent Barrett and Pat Richards, the Robins held on as Richards hitting the post with his second conversion attempt ultimately proved decisive.
The visitors certainly would have had no fears arriving at the JJB Stadium, having already won 26-16 here in early March.
Tries in the final 10 minutes of the half from Dyer and Hardman gave Rovers a commanding interval lead and, although Barrett and Iafeta Paleaaesina inspired the home side after the break, it was not quite enough to steal the points.
The tone was set for Wigan when Chris Ashton dropped the first bomb of the game from Paul Cooke to give Rovers tremendous field position with barely a minute gone.
Only bone-crunching defence from Thomas Leuluai stopped a rampaging Michael Vella, while Mark Calderwood did well to deflect a clever kick from James Webster shortly after, with the evergreen Stanley Gene lurking.
The Warriors were finding it hard to get any kind of continuity going in attack, but quick hands from Leuluai and David Vaealiki gave Pat Richards a sight of the corner, only for Hardman to force him into touch a yard short.
Wigan showed their intent when they were awarded a penalty bang in front for a hand in the tackle on 15 minutes but to chose to run it to no avail.
Rovers adopted a more safety first approach when they were awarded a penalty of their own six minutes later from fully 40 yards out, only for Cooke