Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hat-trick Heroes Crush Sorry Widnes

Under a blizzard of snow, Wigan crushed a Widnes side who came into the game confident that they could repeat the famous 37-36 upset from last season but how wrong they were as Wigan won with a 58 point gap.

Widnes started the better as a dangerous kick from White came close to Flynn collecting but Richards caught in goal and forced a restart from the 20m. From the restart, Charnley broke through the line and slipped a sweet pass to Sam Tomkins who dived over for the opening try. Roby went to the video referee (Ganson) but the try was awarded and Richards successful conversion put Wigan up 6-0.

So far this season, Charnley has not been hitting the line as much as in 2012 but he quickly made up for that with a ten minute hat-trick beginning in the 12th minute as Richards superb one handed catch and run put Wigan with an advantage against a stuttering Widnes line and the ball came to Green who sprayed a pass to Charnley who went over after running across the back to the sticks and Richards converted for 12-0.

The away fans vented their anger at what they deemed was a forward pass on the replay but their anger increased as Charnley notched his second score after a fine run by Thornley. Thornley found space and it allowed him to him pass to Charnley who went clear over the line, Richards converted and with barely 15 minutes played Wigan led 18-0.

Charnley completed his hat-trick after Smith flew through the line and dispatched a superb kick for Charnley to collect and slide over for the try, Roby went to the 'screen' as it looked debatable whether Josh was in touch but the replay showed he was safely inside the line and the try stood while Richards fourth conversion put Wigan 24-0 up.

Widnes were unlucky not to register their first score as Ah Van went over in the corner and again Ganson was called into action and it was deemed that Ah Van's back leg had gone over the touchline before he had touched the ball over the try line and Wigan held on to their clean sheet for the time being.

Celebrating his 24th birthday, Sam Tomkins iced his own cake with a sweet second try as a run by Green saw him offload to Sam who ran at the defence, kicked and collected to go over for the try and Richards sealed his fifth consecutive conversion to put Wigan 30-0 up on the half hour.

Wigan added two more scored before the interval with the first coming as Charnley broke clear and popped the ball to Tuson who went over for a simple finish but Richards' first miss of the night put the score at 34-0. The second came just before the break as a lucky bounce gave Taylor possession and he fed Charnley who secured his ninth try of the season and fourth on the night and Richards luck went again in a second miss meaning a half time score of 38-0.

Any Widnes hopes of Wigan easing off were dashed barely two minutes into the second half as Thornley's breakaway set up Farrell for a superb try and Richards got his kicking skills back with a nice conversion putting Wigan 44-0 up.

Wigan made an error which could have backfired in the 51st minute as from a play the ball, Sam Tomkins threw the ball back and it sailed over the line for a dropout but luckily Widnes were unable to capitalise.

Their failure to convert from the dropout proved costly as Wigan added to their lead as Smith coolly kicked a 40/20 and the resulting play saw a nice combination of himself, Sam and Blake Green to put Richards in for a an easy try in the corner and in converting his own try brought up the fifty for Wigan at 50-0 but having gone off just before the interval, O'Loughlin was sat in the dugout fully dressed meaning it could have been an injury that forced him to leave the field.

Thornley was rewarded for his assists with a try of his own which started from a line break by Goulding saw his pass hit the ground but a scoop by Hughes and a run through the centre found Thornley who charged for the line and sealed the try with Richards kicking his eighth conversion of the night to give Wigan a 56-0 lead.

Widnes finally got on the board with five minutes remaining after Joe Mellor found some space and put Lloyd White in for the try to give the travelling fans something to cheer about despite Ah Van's woeful conversion attempt. The try was a scant consolation as Sam Tomkins completed a successful birthday night out with a hat-trick try as Goulding intercepted and offloaded to Hughes who ran and a nice kick forward was collected by the birthday boy to go over in the middle and Richards ninth conversion put his haul at 22 points and meant Wigan sealed a crushing 62-4 win.

To be fair, Widnes' travelling fans cheered their side from start to finish with a booing at half time being a lull in the positivity but to go away after such a defeat and still in high spirits is admirable in an atmosphere that recently has been quiet from the home fans as for this weeks prediction, I said Wigan to win 40-12 but that was before the snow died off a touch so a 30pt swing was likely in good conditions.