Wildcats 17 Warriors 28 WIGAN Warriors came from behind three times to book their place in the quarter-final draw of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
Hosts Wakefield Trinity Wildcats raced into a ten-point lead with two tries in the space of three minutes just six minutes into the contest.
Skipper Jason Demetriou showed great strength and determination to fend off George Carmont for the opening score, and Tevita Leo-Latu benefited from a neat reverse pass by Danny Brough that opened up a huge gap in the Wigan defence for the second.
Brough converted the second try and at 10-0 Wildcats looked in control, especially as Wigan seemed intent on giving away possession and penalties.
Pat Richards then had a try chalked off by the video ref' after Scott Grix appeared to lose the ball in a three-man tackle. The benefit of the doubt - and the subsequent penalty - went the Wakefield man's way.
Five minutes later, Richards turned provider, picking up a long (forward-looking) pass from O'Loughlin off his boot laces and firing the ball back inside for Carmont to touchdown.
And on 24 minutes, Wigan came up with the try of the match - again after much scrutiny by video referee Ian Smith.
Gareth Hock charged through, handed-off Jay Pitts (Wildcats fans felt he'd used his forearm), Leuluai supported at pace and Michael McIlorum was on hand to finish off. Richards goaled to level at 10-10.
Fearing a close game, Brough popped over a drop-goal from distance on 29 minutes, but three minutes later Wigan were back in front - O'Loughlin got around Drew and Snitch far too easily, Matt Blaymire was left in a no-win situation and opposite number Cameron Phelps loomed in support to take the scoring pass. Richards again converted for 16-10.
Wildcats finished the half strongly and started the second a little lethargic looking but still managing to pressure the Wigan try line.
And on 51 minutes their patience paid off when Tony Martin got on the end of Brough's tidy reverse kick to the posts (again referred to the video official for confirmation).
Brough converted and Wakefield were back in front, 17-16.
The heavens opened around the hour mark and the game got a little scrappy until Stuart Fielden scored his first try in more than two years on 64 minutes.
Again, Wakefield's defence wasn't up to scratch as Fielden got in close enough to the posts to give Richards two easy points.
The game opened up in the last ten minutes as Wildcats chased the win, but victory was decided Wigan's way on 75 minutes - again after video confirmation - when Sam Tomkins stepped through, running against Wakefield's sliding cover. Richards converted.
Wildcats: Blaymire, Grix, Martin, Atkins, Petersen, Obst, Brough, Wilkes, Leo-Latu, Moore, Snitch, Pitts, Demetriou. Subs: Drew, Bibb, Sculthorpe, Winterstein.
Warriors: Phelps, Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, Smith, Leuluai, Fielden, McIlorum, Coley, Hock, Bailey, O'Loughlin. Subs: Palaea'sina, J Tomkins, Prescott, S Tomkins.
Referee: Phil Bentham.
Full match report, stats and reaction in Friday's Wakefield Express.