Danny Tickle was sent off as 19-times winners Wigan Warriors reached the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a 28-10 victory over Hull KR at KCOM Craven Park.
The veteran forward’s dismissal against one of his former clubs by referee Chris Kendall left Rovers to play the entire second half with 12 men.
Tickle, 35, reacted with an apparent punch after clashing with Warriors second row John Bateman in the final set before the interval hooter.
Bateman was sin-binned for his part in the flare-up and, with calm eventually restored, Rovers were awarded a penalty for the first offence.
Rovers also had full-back Adam Quinlan yellow carded for preventing Sam Tomkins, who finished with 12 points, taking a quick 20-metres re-start.
The hosts, who had never won a home Challenge Cup tie against their visitors and missing 13 players, handed a debut to former Skirlaugh amateur Elliot Wallis just three days after his 18th birthday.
Wigan’s 17 included Joel Tomkins, making his 250th career appearance, plus Sam Powell and Dan Sarginson both celebrating 150 appearances apiece.
Josh Woods, making his competition debut for the Warriors, set Shaun Wane’s side on the way to the last eight with an 11th minute try converted by Tomkins.
Rovers responded through Woods’ former Swinton half back partner Chris Atkin 10 minutes later, although Ryan Shaw missed the conversion.
Winger Liam Marshall restored Wigan’s lead with Tomkins failing from the kicking tee.
Quinlan’s professional foul after 28 minutes hardly helped Rovers’ cause, though they enjoyed a let-off when Liam Farrell’s try was chalked off for Oliver Gildart’s forward pass.
The tie seemingly tipped Wigan’s way with the flashpoint between Tickle and Bateman.
Instead Rovers, missing the likes of Danny McGuire, Justin Carney and Shaun Lunt, hit back after the re-start.
Centre Junior Vaivai touched down after 50 minutes. Shaw missed his second conversion but was on target with a 57th-minute penalty to obtain parity at 10-10.
Suddenly an upset looked on the cards, but thanks to Tomkins, Super League’s second-placed side eased the passage towards another Wembley final.
The former New Zealand Warrior grabbed Wigan’s third try after 62 minutes, tagged on the goal and then left Hull KR two scores adrift with a 66th-minute penalty.
Rovers, whose gritty performance belied their injury problems, continued to ask problems of Wigan’s defence only to lose prop Robbie Mulhern with a game ending leg injury.
And Wigan finally made their extra man pay with late tries from Tony Clubb and Tom Davies.