Lee Briers

Draws are usually not that common in the game of rugby league, but you get them occasionally – as the Warrington Wolves and the Wigan Warriors played out a thrilling 17-all draw at DW Stadium.

With the game evenly poised at 16-all, it was Wigan who went ahead 17-16 after 68 minutes following a field goal from Matty Smith.

The game looked wrapped up for Wigan until three minutes to go, when Wolves stalwart Lee Briers kicked a field goal that bounced off the post; his 68th of his career, to tie the scores at 17-all.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane was pleased with the way his side defended their line, praising their steely resolve and character as a unit.

“It was a good effort from our players,” said Wane.

“To have to defend so many sets on our line, we showed some great character.

“I’m a little frustrated because I thought we could have done better, but the courage and guts we showed in our defence was outstanding.

“We were nowhere near our best – we put ourselves under pressure with the penalty count – but overall, I’m fairly pleased with that.

“It was a really big game and in the past we’ve not been performing in big games. It will send a signal out to other teams.”

For Wolves coach Tony Smith, he had mixed emotions about the draw – praising his side for their resolve to not give up when they went behind, but at the same time, he was disappointed that they could not take control when it mattered.

“I’m not going to go home and kick the dog.

“There are mixed emotions. We’re not punching the air but it was pleasing that we found a way not to lose it once we went behind.

“I don’t think we controlled the game as much as we needed to. I thought they were better than us in the first half, they out-enthused us, but in the second half we showed a bit more control for patches of the game.

“The skill level was not particularly high but it was tense and the crowd played a part in that.”

By ricky

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