Monday, 29 July 2013

Wigan Cruise Past London To Reach Final

Wigan booked their place in the 2013 Tetley's Challenge Cup Final after a crushing 70-0 win over the London Broncos scoring 12 unanswered tries.

Wigan welcomed back Sam Tomkins, Harrison Hansen and Sean O'Loughlin who all missed out at St Helens and Iain Thornley replaced the injured Anthony Gelling and London were missing Tony Clubb and Michael Witt.

Wigan started the better and took the lead in the 10th minute as a quick break from Goulding split the London defence and saw him race clear and over the line with Richards adding the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

The lead should have been extended six minutes later as Wigan were awarded a penalty but in choosing to kick for goal, Richards hit the kick wide but the lead did increase four minutes later as quick hands from O'Loughlin and Green set up Mossop for the game's second try which was added to by Richards' conversion for 12-0.

London fell further behind two minutes later as Sam Tomkins went over from close range and Richards kicked for a three score lead at 18-0. London's indiscipline was costly as Wigan got good field position and a kick from Smith cannoned off the post and into the waiting hands of Green who scored the try with Richards adding the extras for 24-0.

Wigan were in again as Richards was picked out by Iain Thornley and Sam Tomkins from out wide and the full back set up Richards for a nice try and with 32 minutes gone, his conversion made it 30-0. O'Loughlin raced past a couple of tackles and found Charnley who went in for Wigan's sixth try but proving he is only human, Richards missed but with 28 points in 14 minutes it seemed to easy for Wigan as they lead 34-0 into the break.

Suprisingly, it took Wigan until the 47th minute to extend the lead but nice play saw Scott Taylor go in under the posts to the chant of 'One Scott Taylor' from the Warriors fans on the terrace and Richards hit the goal for a 40-0 lead. Smith was next on the score sheet as he spotted a gap in the London defence to dash through and over in the 51st minute as the fans went wild with Richards making it a 46-0 lead from the boot.

As the hour mark drew close, a great pass from O'Loughlin found Richards in open space and he strolled over for his second of the gameand brought up the 50 point mark before converting for 52-0.

It was becoming a case of not if Wigan would score again but when and how big a win would it be with London hoping not to be the first side nilled in a semi since Hull KR in 2006 and Farrell struck next as Richards kicked for 58-0. Iain Thornley cut inside a tired London defence for a nice try which Richards added his 10th conversion for 64-0.

The humilation for London ended with Charnley hitting his second try and Richards kicking to reach 70 points and securing a double record for Wigan with the highest semi final win beating their own 71-10 win over Bradford in 1992 and personally breaking Frano Botica's record from the '92 semi with 30 points.

Many expected a Wigan win but few predicted such a crushing win, my own prediction of 40-12 was a total score that Wigan hit within an hour but a good game despite the small attendance and the joy of celebrating and booking a dream trip to Wembley made for a great day.