Super 8s: Wigan Warriors 42-6 Salford Red Devils
|Wigan (26) 42|
|Tries: O'Loughlin, Burgess 2, Farrell, Powell, Williams, Nuuausala, Marshall Goals: Williams 5|
|Salford (0) 6|
|Tries: Evalds Goals: O'Brien|
Wigan demolished Salford to keep their Super League top four hopes alive and build momentum going into the Challenge Cup final against Hull FC on 26 August.
Five first-half Wigan scores laid the platform with two for Joe Burgess to add to tries from Sean O'Loughlin, Liam Farrell and Sam Powell.
George Williams then converted his own try, and Frank Paul Nuuausala and Liam Marshall put the game beyond doubt.
Salford, who have lost the past seven games. scored through Niall Evalds try.
Shaun Wane's Wigan move within a point of Wakefield Trinity, who stay in the fourth and last play-off spot despite defeat by Castleford on Thursday.
Despite their poor form, Ian Watson's Salford are only two points behind with four games left to play in the Super 8s.
Any fears that an imminent Wembley appearance would distract Wigan were blown away emphatically by a dominant performance, and a result which - in the light of dropped points for Wakefield, Hull, St Helens and Salford - keeps the Warriors well in the hunt for Old Trafford and the defence of their Super League title.
England half-back Williams had a big hand in the victory, combining devastatingly in particular with winger Burgess to cause the Red Devils problems down their right edge.
For Salford, the defeat comes just weeks after they were also beaten in the Challenge Cup semi-finals by Wigan.
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane:
"We won't get carried away. Salford were a bit busted and a lot of things went our way but I'm very happy to get the win.
"I was happy with a lot of things we did, having a decent lead at half-time and it can be hard to stay mentally focused but we finished sets in the areas we wanted.
"We were quite patient and that was the most pleasing thing."
Salford head coach Ian Watson:
"We had a little bit of possession on their try line at the start and we probably needed to just take a couple of points there to try and turn the tide.
"It would have given us a foothold in the game, but we didn't and they marched us the full length.
"I thought their middles were outstanding, they absolutely dominated us to be fair. We have not done ourselves any favours by putting in that kind of performance."
Wigan: S.Tomkins; Marshall, Gelling, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Leuluai; Nuuausala, McIlorum, Clubb, Bateman, L.Farrell, O'Loughlin
Replacements: Isa, Sutton, Powell, Tautai
Salford: Evalds; Johnson, Jones, Bibby, Vatuvei; Carney, Dobson; A. Walne, Tomkins, Krasniqi, Lannon, McCarthy, Hauraki
Replacements: O'Brien, Kopczak, Griffin, Brining