Four tries from England winger Josh Charnley was the highlight of the Wigan Warriors’ 62-4 demolition of the Widnes Vikings at the DW Stadium.
Charnley scored the quartet, three of them in 10 minutes, in a first half that ended 38-0 thanks to a brace from Sam Tomkins and a further score by Chris Tuson.
Wigan continued on their way in the second half with tries from Liam Farrell, Iain Thornley and Pat Richards before Lloyd White scored a consolation try on 74 minutes.
Tomkins wrapped up the game with a third try and Richards enhanced his reputation as one of the league’s best kickers with nine goals from 11 attempts.
The home side took the lead after six minutes with a nice finish from Tomkins. Charnley found space on the right edge after Goulding’s pass and Tomkins ran in support to score the opening points in a snowy DW Stadium.
His provider soon turned points scorer as Charnley scored off the back of a break by Smith as he ran through Widnes’ defence and pass outside to his winger.
Charnley made it 16 points in 14 minutes after some fast passing created an overlap which sucked in Ah Van. The winger received the ball in plenty of space on the side line and scored with a neat finish in the corner. Richards made it three from three with the boot with a superb strike for 18-0.
Widnes’ night went from bad to worse as Charnley wrapped up his hat-trick in 10 minutes. Smith made an easy break through the middle and kicked a grubber to Charnley who beat Hanbury and Flynn to the ball to dive over.
Ah Van looked to have finally put some points on the board for Widnes but was forced into touch with a last-ditch tackle from Charnley. Ah Van leaped for the line but seconds before he managed to get the ball over the line, his feet were pushed over the side line by his opposite winger.
Tomkins bagged his second with some individual brilliance as he beat the Widnes defenders to his own grubber kick to put his side on 28 points after half an hour.
No sooner had Tuson come off the subs bench did he find himself on the scoresheet after a nice offload from Charnley. Wigan worked the ball to the left edge and Charnley ran at the line before an offload to Tuson for the easy score.
Charnley made it four shortly before the half-time hooter following a break through the line from Taylor from Smith’s high-kick. He passed outside to Charnley who managed to score despite Flynn’s best defensive efforts.
It took less than two minutes for the cherry and whites to score their first points of the second half through Farrell. Thornley found space on the outside and found Farrell with an offload on his inside.
After scoring 12 points with his boot, Richards notched a try of his own after collecting Tomkins bullet pass to the outside. He then managed to convert his own try from the side line to bring up 50 points for Wigan.
Thornley capped an impressive move on the fifth tackle with a try of his own on the left hand side. Wigan kept the ball alive despite it being the last tackle and Thornley was played to score in the corner.
Widnes finally got themselves on the scoresheet through White. Tomkins made a desperation tackle on Mellor but this only delayed the inevitable as on the next tackle White span round his defender to go over the line from a few metres out.
Tomkins made it a birthday hat-trick with Wigan’s next attacking set. Smith’s grubber kick on the 10 metre line was met by Tomkins in front of the posts and he scored an easy try to bring Wigan to 60 points.
The win moved Wigan in to second place in the Super League table on points difference, just one point behind league leaders Huddersfield while the Vikings remain in 11th place after a performance to forget for Dennis Betts’ side.
Wigan: Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Thornley, Richards; Green, Smith; Crosby, McIlorum, Flower, Tuson, Farrell, O’Loughlin.
Replacements: Hughes, Taylor, Tomkins, Burke.
T: Tomkins 3, Charnley 4, Tuson, Farrell, Richards, Thornley
G: Richards 9/11
Widnes: Hanbury, Flynn, Dean, Isa, Ah Van; White, Mellor; Cross, Clarke, O’Carroll, Winterstein, Allen, Cahill.
Replacements: Joseph, Kavanagh, Gerrard, Leuluai.
G: Ah Van 0/1
Referee: Tim Roby
RLFANS Man of the Match: Josh Charnley
Half Time: 38-0
Full Time: 62-4