Player news: Thurston & Marshall

QUEENSLAND State of Origin star Johnathan Thurston has agreed to extend his NRL contract with the North Queensland Cowboys until the end of the 2010 season.

Judiciary news

MANLY five-eighth Travis Burns is facing a one-match ban after being charged over a high tackle by the NRL match review committee. Burns has been slapped with a grade two careless high tackle charge for his second half hit on Brisbane prop Sam Thaiday in yesterday's 16-10 win to the Broncos at Brookvale Oval.

QLD Res named for Origin curtain raiser

SELECTORS have named the XXXX Queensland Residents team to oppose New South Wales Residents in the curtain-raiser to the third and deciding State of Origin match at Melbourne's Telstra Dome on July 5.1. Ryan CULLEN Redcliffe Dolphins2. Jason BARSLEY North QLD Young Guns3. Jackson NICOLAU Norths Devils4. Jordan ATKINS Burleigh Bears5. Simon PHILLIPS Wynnum Manly Seagulls6. Brandon COSTIN ? Souths Logan Magpies7. Luke BRANIGHAN Easts Tigers8. Troy LINDSAY Redcliffe Dolphins9. Michael ROBERTS Redcliffe Dolphins10. Scott ANDERSON Norths Devils11. Scott BOLTON North QLD Young Guns12. Mark DALLE CORT North QLD Young Guns13. Matt LOCKYER Easts Tigers14. Shane O?FLANAGAN Burleigh Bears15. Adam BLAIR Norths Devils16. Adam STARR Redcliffe Dolphins17. Shane MUSPRATT North QLD Young GunsCoach: Trevor GILLMEISTER

Jets hang on for a Draw

NEWTOWN led for seventy-three minutes of this match at Canberra Stadium but ultimately had to settle for a 26-all draw with the Raiders. The Jets had led 16-6 at half-time and increased this margin to 20-6 early in the second half. The Raiders had an advantage in possession and field position for most of the second half and Newtown could be well pleased at coming away with a competition point from what is always one of the VB Premier League season?s tougher assignments.Newtown fielded a side considerably changed from that listed in the match-day program and faced up to a bigger and more physical powerful Raiders pack. The Jets had the edge across the backline, with centre and NSW Residents representative Sam Perrett always dangerous. Jets half-back Jamie Soward had a field goal attempt ricochet away off the woodwork that would have given Newtown a 27-20 lead ten minutes from full-time. Likewise the Raiders narrowly missed a shot at field goal late in the game with the scores locked up at 26-all.The Jets forwards stuck to their task gamely as the Raiders poured on the pressure in the second half. Glenn Hall, John Doyle, Michael Burns and Mitch Aubusson were the best of a forward pack that might have copped a real pounding but never gave in. Jamie Soward, Sam Perrett, Aidan Kirk and Troy Malcolm were Newtown?s best backs, with Malcolm picking up yet another hat-trick of tries in an impressive display, including a sixty metres interception try in the first half.The Jets had a great win away to last year?s Jim Beam Cup premiers Windsor on Sunday. Newtown?s team in this grade also had a disrupted week?s preparation with several enforced changes to the listed side. Newtown ran up a big 32-4 lead early in the second half before consolidating a final winning margin of 38-22. This was not only a win against the odds but one achieved with considerable style.Once again Newtown?s forwards dictated the terms of play through the likes of Ritchie Parker, Khalid Deeb and new signing Matthew Eather. Halves Toufic Nicolas and Charlie Herekotukutuku made strong contributions, while Will Ingram and Adam Sarkis were other backs to stand out in this valuable away win.In the Sydney Women?s Rugby League competition, the Newtown Jetettes were well beaten by the Canley Vale Kookas. In Group 11, the Parkes Spacemen bounced back to winning form with a badly-needed 52-20 win against Nyngan at Pioneer Oval.The Jets have a bye in the VB Premier League this weekend while the Newtown Jim Beam Cup team, coming off Sunday?s morale-boosting win, take on Erina at the Narellan Sports Ground on Saturday, July 1st, at 3.00pm.

Blues deny they're gambling

NSW selection chairman Bob McCarthy denies the Blues are taking a gamble by naming Mark Gasnier at five-eighth for Wednesday week's deciding third State-of-Origin rugby league match against Queensland.

Player movements: Tigers

PARRAMATTA utility John Morris has agreed to a three-year contract to join Wests Tigers at the end of the NRL season.

Updated: QLD & NSW Origin teams

QUEENSLAND selectors have responded with a few changes to their line-up today, drafting Canberra fullback Clinton Schifcofske into the starting side ahead of other candidates in Matt Bowen, Rhys Wesser and Billy Slater.Cowboys Josh Hannay has been recalled to cover the loss of Steve Bell and although Justin Hodges has been named to partner him, he?s in serious doubt.Jacob Lillyman has been left out with the availability of Tonie Carroll seeing Nate Myles join the run-on side. The side is otherwise unchanged.The full squad is:Clinton Schifcofske, Brent Tate, Justin Hodges, Josh Hannay, Adam Mogg, Darren Lockyer (c), Johnathan Thurston, Steve Price, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Nate Myles, Carl Webb, Dallas JohnsonInterchange: Shaun Berrigan, Chris Flannery, Sam Thaiday, Tonie Carroll--------The NSW selectors have dropped a few bombshells for Game III at Melbourne?s Telstra Dome on July 5th.Both halves, Braith Anasta and Brett Finch, have been dropped with Mark Gasnier shifting to five-eighth and Craig Gower assuming the reigns at no 7. Matt Cooper has been drafted into the centres with the rest of the backline unchanged.There?s been a few shake-ups in the forwards as well, with Andrew Ryan and Brent Kite excluded from the team altogether with Luke O?Donnell and Luke Bailey their replacements. Paul Gallen (on debut) has been included on the bench, with Ben Hornby taking over the utility role from Craig Wing who has also been spurned.The full squad is:Brett Hodgson, Eric Grothe, Matt King, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu, Mark Gasnier, Craig Gower, Willie Mason, Danny Buderus (c), Luke Bailey, Steve Simpson, Nathan Hindmarsh, Luke O'DonnellInterchange: Paul Gallen, Ben Hornby, Mark O'Meley, Steve Menzies

Hodges out of Origin 3

QUEENSLAND'S State Of Origin preparations have hit a snag with damaging centre Justin Hodges unavailable for Wednesday week's series decider in Melbourne.

Monday?s Expert League Wrap - Round 16, 2006

ROUND 16 of the National Rugby League kicked off in Melbourne on Friday night with the Storm outlasting the Canterbury Bulldogs by 16-12. The result places Melbourne on 26 points with a four point buffer at the top of the NRL ladder. The Bulldogs are running fifth on 20 points.On Saturday afternoon we travelled to Newcastle to see the Knights go down 26-16 to the Sharks. The Knights slip to sixth spot and 18 competition points while the Sharks are riding high on 22 points and in equal second position. On Saturday night we headed out west to Penrith to watch the Panthers down Wests Tigers 24-20. Both teams are on 16 points and outside of the top eight. Meanwhile, the St George Illawarra Dragons won their sixth game on the trot in defeating the North Queensland Cowboys 34-14 in Wollongong. The Dragons join the Sharks on 22 points while the Cowboys have slumped to 16 points and are now on the outside, looking in.Sunday football took us to Canberra with the Raiders easily accounting for the Sydney Roosters 42-10. The result puts the Raiders in the top eight on 18 points but the news isn?t so hot for the Roosters who are struggling on 12 points and in 13th position. Meanwhile the Brisbane Broncos bounced back with a 16-10 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale. The Broncos join southerners St George and Cronulla on 22 competition points while Manly maintain their top eight position on 18 points.The weekend wrapped up with the New Zealand Warriors delivering a 66-0 hiding to the hapless South Sydney Rabbitohs at Telstra Stadium in Sydney. As we come into the final 10 premiership rounds of the year, the Warriors are on 12 points and in 12th position but appear to have some momentum building. The same can?t be said for Souths who are well adrift of the field on four points and short odds for the wooden spoon.All match results and details are listed Player AwardsWe have a new leader in this year?s Player Awards with Raiders full back Clinton Schifcofske grabbing top spot in 21 points. Melbourne?s Greg Inglis is in second place on 20 points. Not far away are Cameron Smith (Storm) and Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys) on 17 points while Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) is still well in contention on 16 points.The full leader board is below.The players of the match are decided by our live score updaters and tallied here each week on Monday?s Expert League wrap.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.League Wrap: Round 16, 23-25 June 2006MATCH RESULTS:Melbourne Storm: 16Tries: Antonio Kaufusi, Jake Webster(2)Goals: Cameron Smith 2/3Canterbury Bulldogs: 12Tries: Trent Cutler, Sonny Bill WilliamsGoals: Hazem El Masri 2/3Half time: Bulldogs 4-0Venue: Olympic Park, MelbourneCrowd: 10,373Referee: Sean players of the match:3 - Ryan Hoffman (Storm)2 - Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs)1 - Cameron Smith (Storm)Newcastle Knights: 16Tries: Anthony Quinn(2), Craig SmithGoals: Andrew Johns 2/3Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 26Tries: Beau Scott, Nigel Vagana(2), Brett KearneyGoals: Luke Covell 5/5Half time: Knights 10-0Venue: EnergyAustralia StadiumCrowd: 18,212Referee: Ben players of the match:3 - Brett Kimmorley (Sharks)2 - David Simmons (Sharks)1 - Brett Kearney (Sharks)Penrith Panthers: 24Tries: Preston Campbell, Danny Galea, Luke Lewis, Michael GordonGoals: Preston Campbell 4/5Wests Tigers: 20Tries: Ben Galea, Chris Heighington, Shannon McDonnell(2)Goals: Brett Hodgson 2/4Half time: Panthers 18-8Venue: CUA Stadium, PenrithCrowd: 16,120Referee: Russell players of the match:3 - Preston Campbell (Panthers)2 - Luke Lewis (Panthers)1 - Shannon McDonnell (Tigers)St George Illawarra Dragons: 34Tries: Colin Best, Matt Cooper(3), Mark Gasnier, Aaron GorrellGoals: Aaron Gorrell 5/7North Queensland Cowboys: 14Tries: Josh Hannay, Matt Sing, Neil SweeneyGoals: Johnathan Thurston 1/4Half time: Dragons 10-8Venue: WIN StadiumCrowd: 13,289Referee: Paul players of the match:3 - Matt Cooper (Dragons)2 - Ben Hornby (Dragons)1 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)Canberra Raiders: 42Tries: Todd Carney, Marshall Chalk, Jason Croker, Adam Mogg, Clinton Schifcofske, Lincoln Withers, Dane TilseGoals: Clinton Schifcofske 7/7Sydney Roosters: 10Tries: Ryan Cross, Brett FinchGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 1/2Half time: Raiders 18-4Venue: Canberra StadiumCrowd: 11,876Referee: Jason players of the match:3 - Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders)2 - Jason Smith (Raiders)1 - Lincoln Withers (Raiders)Manly Sea Eagles: 10Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve MataiGoals: Travis Burns 1/2Brisbane Broncos: 16Tries: Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Darius BoydGoals: Corey Parker 2/4Half time: Broncos 10-0Venue: Brookvale OvalCrowd: 16,084Referee: Shayne players of the match:3 - Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles)2 - Petero Civoniceva (Broncos)1 - Brent Tate (Broncos)South Sydney Rabbitohs: 0 New Zealand Warriors: 66Tries: Lance Hohaia(3), Simon Mannering, Tony Martin, Steve Price, Jerome Ropati(2), Evarn Tuimavave, Brent Webb(2), Patrick Ah VanGoals: Tony Martin 9/12Half time: Warriors 32-0Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 6,597Referee: Gavin players of the match:3 - Steve Price (Warriors)2 - Grant Rovelli (Warriors)1 - Nathan Fien (Warriors)Parramatta Eels ? ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HEREUpcoming matches:GB vs NZ Test Match Great Britain Lions v New Zealand KiwisTue 27 Jun 8.00pm (GMT), Wed 28 Jun 7:00am (NZ), 5:00am (AEST) - Knowsley Road, St HelensNRL Round 17, 30 June ? 2 July 2006Fri 7:30 SEA EAGLES v KNIGHTS - Brookvale OvalSat 7:30 (NZ) 5:30 (AEST) WARRIORS v PANTHERS Ericsson Stadium Sat 7:30 RAIDERS v EELS - Canberra StadiumSat 7:30 COWBOYS v RABBITOHS - Dairy Farmers StadiumSun 2:30 BRONCOS v SHARKS - Suncorp StadiumSun 3:00 TIGERS v BULLDOGS - Telstra Stadium ROOSTERS v BYE DRAGONS v BYE STORM v BYE State of Origin III - 5 July 2005Wed 8:00 NSW BLUES v QLD MAROONS - Telstra Dome, Melbourne FOR LATEST CENTREBET ODDSCLICK HERELEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PLAYER AWARDS 2006LEADER BOARDThe players awards are decided by our live score updaters.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.21 pointsClinton Schifcofske (Raiders)20 pointsGreg Inglis (Storm)17 pointsCameron Smith (Storm), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)16 pointsMatt Orford (Sea Eagles)15 pointsAndrew Johns (Knights), Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles)14 pointsNathan Hindmarsh (Eels)13 pointsAdam Dykes (Sharks), Darren Lockyer (Broncos)12 pointsHazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Mark Gasnier (Dragons), Willie Mason (Bulldogs)11 pointsCooper Cronk (Storm), Danny Buderus (Knights), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos)10 pointsMatthew Bowen (Cowboys), Preston Campbell (Panthers), Petero Civoniceva (Broncos)9 pointsRobert Farah (Tigers), Paul Gallen (Sharks)8 pointsBrett Kimmorley (Sharks), Corey Parker (Broncos), Steve Price (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)7 pointsRoy Asotasi (Bulldogs), Steve Bell (Sea Eagles), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Scott Prince (Tigers), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Jason Smith (Raiders), Ruben Wiki (Warriors)6 pointsCraig Gower (Panthers), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Mathew Head (Dragons), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Luke Lewis (Panthers), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Grant Rovelli (Warriors), Lance Thompson (Sharks), Alan Tongue (Raiders)5 pointsTrent Barrett (Dragons), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Brent Webb (Warriors), Rhys Wesser (Panthers)4 pointsDarren Albert (Sharks), Brian Carney (Knights), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Sione Faumuina (Warriors), David Kidwell (Storm), Ben Hornby (Dragons), Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Luke Priddis (Panthers), David Simmons (Sharks), Steve Simpson (Knights), Jamie Soward (Roosters), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (Tigers), Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs), Lincoln Withers (Raiders)3 pointsLuke Bailey (Dragons), Greg Bird (Sharks), Dean Collis (Tigers), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Greg Eastwood (Broncos), Brett Finch (Roosters), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Phillip Graham (Raiders), Clint Greenshields (Dragons), Ryan Hoffman (Storm), Brett Kearney (Sharks), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), David Peachey (Rabbitohs), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Tame Tupou (Broncos), Matthew Utai (Bulldogs), Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles)2 pointsBrenton Bowen (Cowboys), George Carmont (Knights), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Scott Hill (Storm), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Tony Martin (Warriors), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Benji Marshall (Tigers), Luke Patten (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Josh Perry (Knights), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Rooney (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Craig Smith (Knights), Iosia Soliola (Roosters), Steven Southern (Cowboys), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Timana Tahu (Eels), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Evarn Tuimavave (Warriors), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Michael Weyman (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters)1 pointPaul Bowman (Cowboys), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Ben Creagh (Dragons), Shayne Dunley (Sea Eagles), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Nathan Friend (Storm), Matt Geyer (Storm), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs), Daniel Holdsworth (Bulldogs), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Matt King (Storm), Daryl Millard (Dragons), Ryan O'Hara (Tigers), Shannon McDonnell (Tigers), Mark Riddell (Eels), Shane Rodney (Panthers), Jerome Ropati (Warriors), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), Billy Slater (Storm), Tim Smith (Eels), Brent Tate (Broncos), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Ben Walker (Rabbitohs), Simon Woolford (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)

Injury news, Weekend wrap

WESTS Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall will see his club doctor this morning to plan surgery on his again-injured right shoulder, likely to sideline him for six months.

Origin selections due today

NEW South Wales and Queensland rugby league selectors name their line-ups today for the State of Origin decider in Melbourne on Wednesday week.

engage Super League Round 18 review

BRADFORD Bulls 42 (Vainikolo 2, Ferres 2, B Harris 2, Meyers tries; Deacon 7 goals) def. Huddersfield Giants 16 (Snitch, Nero tries; Thorman 4 goals). Att: 10,655.

Saints climb back to summit

ST Helens roared back to the top of Super League on Saturday after grinding down a gritty, injury-hit Salford to win 28-6 at Knowsley Road. Saints had frittered away a six-point lead after back-to-back defeats by Hull and Bradford but centre Jamie Lyon scored a brace of tries to help them get back to winning ways. Star of the show was hooker Keiron Cunningham, one of 12 Saints players in line to play in Tuesday?s XXXX Test between Great Britain and New Zealand at Knowsley Road. Salford simply had no answer to Cunningham?s darting runs from dummy half which set up tries for Lyon and Jon Wilkin. The visitors trailed only 10-6 at half-time but there was never any serious doubt over the outcome. Saints opened the scoring when stand-off Leon Pryce took Sean Long?s pass and sliced between defenders Andrew Brocklehurst and Stephen Myler for a seventh-minute try. Salford, without five first-choice backs through injury, gave debuts to 18-year-old winger Daley Williams and Samoan prop Danny Lima, who has joined them on loan from Warrington, and both men figured prominently in the early stages. But it was Saints who bossed the show, without being fully able to turn their obvious superiority into points. Wingers Francis Meli and Ade Gardner both missed clear-cut chances close to the line and full-back Paul Wellens also lost the ball in attempting to touch down. St Helens? pressure eventually told when a weaving run by Cunningham set up the position for centre Lyon to cross for a second try to make it 10-0 after 24 minutes. Salford threatened early in the match when second rower Ian Sibbit broke clear only for Lee Gilmour to pull off a timely interception and they got on the scoreboard nine minutes before the interval when heavyweight substitute Gareth Haggerty charged over from 10 metres, taking three defenders over the line with him. Myler?s successful conversion closed the cap to just four points, which somewhat flattered the visitors. But normal service was resumed when Cunningham re-entered the fray early in the second half after a well-deserved rest. His determined run from dummy half set alarm bells ringing in the Reds defence and second rower Jon Wilkin ran onto his perfectly-judged pass to score Saints? third try. Three minutes later skipper Paul Sculthorpe got the decisive touch after a Long high kick had caused mayhem in the Salford defence. Lyon kicked his second goal and also scored his second try, taking Long?s pass and fending off the challenge of Luke Robinson to touch down. Leading tryscorer Gardner then finished off the scoring, pouncing on Wilkin?s high kick to the corner to claim his 19th try of the season. The game was held up near the end to allow Meli to have treatment for a leg injury which looks certain to deny him the chance of a Test comeback with the Kiwis, while Vinnie Anderson also handed New Zealand coach Brian McClennan an injury headache.St Helens (10) 28.Tries: Pryce, Lyon 2, Wilkin, Sculthorpe, Gardner. Goals: Lyon 2. Salford (6) 6.Tries: Haggerty. Goals: Myler. St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, P. Anderson, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Sculthorpe, Hooper.Replacements: Graham, Fozzard, Wilkin, V. Anderson.Salford: Hodgson, Langi, Littler, Moule, Williams, Myler, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Rutgerson, Sibbit, Brocklehurst, Finnigan.Replacements: Charles, Haggerty, Lima, Highton. Referee: P Bentham (Warrington) Att: 8,307Source:

Catalans comeback stuns Quins

JUSTIN Murphy scored two tries and Stacey Jones kicked 14 points as Catalans Dragons recovered from 12-0 down to claim an emphatic 38-18 victory over Harlequins at Stade Aime Giral.The hosts were looking to avoid their third consecutive defeat and started the game second bottom of engage Super League while Quins were aiming to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.But it was the visitors who took control from the start, easing into a 12-0 lead with only 11 minutes on the clock.Nick Bradley-Qalilawa scored the first try after just two minutes which Henry Paul converted before Karl Temata went over nine minutes later with Paul again supplying the conversion.However, the Dragons hit back with three quickfire tries in the space of seven minutes through Murphy, Gregory Mounis and Bruno Verges - all successfully converted by Jones - to take an 18-12 lead.Jones then scored a penalty goal as the hosts went in at half-time 20-12 to the good.Murphy claimed his second try with Jones again successfully converting, before Quins pair Mark McLinden and Daniel Williams were sin-binned in the 60th and 63rd minute.With the visitors down to 11 men, Catalans scored twice more through Aurelien Cologni and Mark Hughes while Jones maintained his 100% kicking record to give the Dragons a 38-12 lead.Quins pulled one back seven minutes from time through Tyrone Smith with Paul converting to reduce the deficit to 38-18.The victory saw the Dragons pull level on points with Wakefield Wildcats, although the Yorkshire side remain ahead on points difference, and just one point behind Castleford and visitors Harlequins.The London side have now won just one of their last four fixtures adding extra significance to their next two fixtures against rock-bottom Wigan and Castleford.Catalans Dragons (20) 38.Tries: Murphy 2, Mounis, Verges, Cologni, Hughes. Goals: Jones 7. Harlequins RL (12) 18.Tries: Bradley-Qalilawa, Temata, Smith. Goals: Paul 3. Catalans Dragons: Guigue, Murphy, Wilson, Hughes, Verges, Rudder, Jones, Beattie, Cologni, Fellous, Guisset, Fakir, Mounis.Replacements: Berthezene, Frayssinous, Chan, Casty.Harlequins RL: McLinden, Wells, Lucky Luisi, Smith, Bradley-Qalilawa, Paul, Dorn, Tookey, Randall, Temata, Haumono, Purdham, Williams.Replacements: Budworth, Mills, Heckenberg, Weisner.Referee: S Clark (Australia)Att: 4,197Source:

Fielden makes difference for Wigan

STUART Fielden got off to a winning start in a Wigan shirt as the Warriors enjoyed a 30-12 victory over Warrington at the JJB Stadium. All the pre-match talk had centred around Fielden, and the former Bradford Bulls prop was thrown straight into the front row for his debut alongside Iafeta Paleaaesina, with Scott Logan rested. And his side got off to the perfect start with two tries inside the opening 15 minutes through Paleaaesina and Nathan McAvoy, before Lee Briers created scores for Simon Grix and Toa Kohe-Love. Only Michael Dobson?s penalty goal separating the sides at the break but the second half belonged to Wigan, as further scores by Brett Dallas, Sean O?Loughlin and Bryan Fletcher sealed the points and closed the gap between Wigan and safety to just four points.Australian winger Pat Richards missed out for Wigan, with Mark Calderwood making a welcome return after several weeks out through injury. Wolves were missing Great Britain star Martin Gleeson due to a finger injury, with his brother Mark also sidelined with a broken thumb. The crowd were right behind the Warriors from the outset and Fielden, Paleaaesina and Fletcher made big yards in the early exchanges. Warrington, in contrast were struggling to stamp their authority on the game, and an uncharacteristic kick out on the full by Lee Briers conceded the field position that led to the opening Wigan try. Paleaaesina drove onto a neat short ball from Dobson and took two defenders over the line with him, with Dobson making no mistake with the conversion. Five minutes later it was 12-0 after a quite breathtaking score that covered 70 metres of the field. Calderwood made the break and, via the hands of Dobson, Chris Ashton, Danny Orr and Calderwood again, McAvoy took the final pass to touch down. Dobson again converted, but McAvoy went from hero to villain three minutes later when he made a clean break but ignored Dallas on his inside only to fall at Stuart Reardon?s feet. The mistake was to prove costly at the other end when, after a repeat set, great hands left saw Briers put Simon Grix over through Fletcher?s weak defence, with Briers closing the gap to six points. That was immediately extended to eight points via the boot of Dobson after Paul Noone had gone high on Fielden. Eight minutes before the break the Wolves again won a repeat set when Calderwood could not take Briers? towering kick to hand Warrington a scrum 10 metres out. From the restart, Kohe-Love took a Briers pass to to step out of Dobson?s challenge and score under the sticks, with Briers? successful kick leaving it tantalisingly poised at 14-12. The Warriors extended their lead 10 minutes into the second half, and it was a play right out of the Briers textbook. Dobson forced the drop out when his kick pinned Richie Barnett behind his own posts and, three tackles later, Ashton?s long ball put Dallas in at the corner. Dobson?s touchline goal made it 20-12 and, with the rampaging Paleaaesina back off the bench and taking three men to stop him every time, they were in the ascendancy. Only a marginal forward pass denied Calderwood in the right-hand corner, but it did not matter as the Warriors were in again on the hour. Another barnstorming run from Paaleaaesina, enjoying easily his best game in a Wigan shirt, set up the attacking position for Higham to put captain Sean O?Loughlin over, with Dobson?s boot pushing the score out to 26-12. Fletcher?s last-minute score, from O?Loughlin?s kick, was the icing on the cake for the majority of the 16,103 crowd. Wigan (14) 30.Tries: Paleaaesina, McAvoy, Dallas, O'Loughlin, Fletcher. Goals: Dobson 5. Warrington (12) 12.Tries: Grix, Kohe-Love. Goals: Briers 2. Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, McAvoy, Vaealiki, Dallas, Orr, Dobson, Paleaaesina, Higham, Fielden, Hock, Fletcher, O?Loughlin.Replacements: Seu Seu, Brown, Hansen, Tickle.Warrington: Reardon, Grose, Grix, Kohe-Love, Barnett, Bridge, Briers, Leikvoll, Clarke, Wood, Westwood, Wainwright, Noone.Replacements: Sullivan, Parker, Bracek, Pickersgill.Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)Att: 16,103Source:

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