Monday, 28 April 2014

Warriors Overpower Gutsy Hunslet

Fresh from a successful Easter double header, Wigan hosted Championship One leaders Hunslet in the Challenge Cup fifth round and a great deal of respect was shown in the starting lineup.

Though Wigan were hindered by injuries and with a massive tie away to Leeds next week, Shaun Wane went for a strong lineup with Bowen, Smith, Burgess and Crosby all returning and it paid off as they went in front in the third minute with Taylor finding Williams who crossed for the first try.

Smith converted for a 6-0 lead which was doubled within minutes as Burgess dashed down the wing and picked out Bowen who scored in the middle and  Smith converted successfully for a second time.

Wigan were in total control with a third try in the seventh minute as Bateman supplied Smith who crossed for the try and went on to kick the conversion for a 18-0 lead before doing so for a fourth time when Bowen and Farrell combined with the latter scoring a try with Wigan now 24-0 in front with only eleven minutes on the clock.

Hunslet got themselves on the board when Grimshaw intercepted and raced over the line to applause from both sets of fans but Ansell missed the conversion and the score was 24-4. Wigan were in again just three minutes later as Burgess turned creator for a second time as he found Bowen with the fullback crossing for his second try of the afternoon with Smith converting for 30-4.

Hunslet came back again as a kick from the middle found Mapals on the wing who crossed for the Hawk's second try but Ansell missed for a second time and the Hawks were 22 points behind at 30-8. The gap widened in the 22nd minute when Smith crossed for his second of the afternoon and converted for a sixth time for a 36-8 lead.

Smith turned creator as he found Bowen with the Wigan number one completing his hat-trick with Smith kicking for a 42-8 lead inside the half-hour mark, Both sides exchanged sets but with none resulting in a try as the hosts went into the half-time interval with a 42-8 lead.

Wigan forced an early goal-line dropout and utilised the advantage as Sarginson raced over for a try in the corner forcing a tough conversion attempt for Smith which he missed and the lead was 46-8. Alike the end to the first half, both sides exchanged sets with no end product and Wigan gave Bowen a rest in preparation for Friday as Hampshire replaced him with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Williams came close to his second score of the afternoon as he was held on the final tackle just metres from the Hunslet line and Wigan did get over a couple of minutes later when Smith found James who crossed for the try and Smith kicked for a 52-8 lead that lasted until the end of the game.

 A superb first 40 coupled with a mixed second but the result is the main thing and Hunslet proved they are no walkover having performed far better than the Bradford side that visited on Easter Monday despite playing two divisions below their opponents.