Charnley’s 200th career try helps Warrington end Wigan’s Challenge Cup dream

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Former Wigan favourite Josh Charnley scored the 200th try of his rugby league career to knock his old club out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

Charnley scored 164 of those tries in a glorious seven-year spell with his home-town club but his 14th for his new club Warrington might go on to become his most precious.

It came on the stroke of half-time with the Wolves holding onto a 10-0 lead and effectively sealed the outcome of an action-packed quarter-final which they went on to win 23-0.

Wigan had high hopes of sending Shaun Wane out with a record-extending 20th Cup final triumph at Wembley in August but they have lost both games since announcing the end-of-season departure of their popular coach.

They have also not scored a point for over two hours and had hooker Thomas Leuluai shown a yellow card for a “cannonball” tackle.

The outcome was sweet revenge for Warrington’s heart-breaking 27-26 defeat in the corresponding game last season as they booked their place in the Macron Stadium semi-final double-header on August 5.

Warrington bolstered their pack with the addition of Mike Cooper and Sitaleki Akauola and it was up front where they gained a significant advantage.

They were certainly transformed from the team that succumbed 38-10 to the Warriors at the Magic Weekend only a fortnight earlier.

The Wolves opened the scoring on 12 minutes when former Wigan stand-off Kevin Brown gained possession as first receiver 10 metres from the line and, after showing the dummy, stretched out of Sam Powell’s tackle to plant the ball on the line.

As they struggled to break down the Wolves’ magnificent defence, Wane sent on full-back Morgan Escare switched Sam Tomkins to half-back in a bid to spark their attack.

But the home side continued to look the most lively, although they had to wait until the last eight minutes of the first half before making their domination tell on the scoreboard.

Substitute Ben Murdoch-Masila proved unstoppable on a rampaging run from 10 metres out to claim his fourth try in his last five matches while quick hands from Tyrone Roberts and Ryan Atkins gave Charnley just enough space to dive over at the corner for his landmark try.

Harvey Livett, whose first conversion attempt struck the top of the right-hand upright and was waved away by the touch judges, found his accuracy to extend his side’s lead to 16-0 which was fully deserved.

Wigan’s missed a chance to get back into the game when centre Oliver Gildart spilled the ball going for the line early in the second half while prop Ben Flower was held up over the line during another promising attack.

The visitors suffered a blow when Canberra-bound prop Ryan Sutton, an ever-present for his club so far this year, hobbled off after 51 minutes and they were down to 12 men when hooker Thomas Leuluai was sin-binned on the hour for a cannonball tackle on Ben Westwood.

With both defences well on top, Warrington extended their lead with a Bryson Goodwin penalty and a Roberts drop goal before substitute Dec Patton supplied the finishing touches with a last-second try.

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