Wigan 54-12 Widnes

Josh Charnley

Super League leaders Wigan mercilessly avenged their shock defeat by Widnes in March by running 10 tries past old boy Denis Betts' Vikings at the DW Stadium.

Runaway top try scorer Josh Charnley took his season's haul to 25 with a hat-trick, while Brett Finch got two.

Michael McIlorum, George Carmont, Paul Prescott, Anthony Gelling and Sam Tomkins all crossed too as Charnley landed seven kicks with the boot.

Prop Ben Cross and stand-off Joe Mellor got the two Widnes tries.

With Patrick Ah Van converting both, but being disallowed a third on the say-so of the video referee, that meant the Wigan line had been crossed only by men who have appeared for the Cherry and Whites, Wigan old boy Cross and Mellor, who is currently on loan at Widnes from the DW Stadium.

England's new winger Charnley's 26-point haul also helped him take over as Super League's top overall points scorer.

That took him past Hull's former Wigan forward Danny Tickle and Catalan Dragons' Scott Dureau at the top of the charts.

With skipper Sean O'Loughlin slotting effortlessly into the halves to offset the loss of scrum-half Thomas Leuluai with a broken leg, Wigan cruised to a 13th successive win to re-establish their three-point lead on top, ahead of Warrington.

It took the leaders just two minutes to register the first of their 10 tries, Charnley taking O'Loughlin's pass to go in at the right corner before McIlorum brushed his way through, followed by centre Carmont's 12th try of the season.

Cross stopped the rot when he plunged over for only the second try of his lengthy career, just three weeks after scoring his first. And Mellor would have added a second try following a break from halfway but for a terrific tackle from Jack Hughes, who made up a 15-yard start to haul him down short of the line.

Instead, Wigan struck with two more quickfire tries through substitute Paul Prescott, who took O'Loughlin's short pass to claim his first Super League touchdown for 12 months, and winger Gelling.

Mellor made amends for his earlier miss when he intercepted Finch's pass to dart 30 metres for a try on the stroke of half-time. But, after going in 28-12 up, it was just a matter of how many more tries the home side would score as they aimed to exact revenge for that smarting defeat at the Stobart Stadium three months ago when they paid the price for playing a weakened team.

As it turned out, there were two for Finch, who dummied his way over for the first of them within two minutes of the restart, two more for Charnley and a 15th of the campaign for last term's top Super League try scorer Tomkins.

Widnes suffered two more injury blows, losing centre Willie Isa with a hyper-extended elbow and former Wigan full-back Shaun Briscoe, on his first appearance for almost three months, with a torn pectoral muscle.


Wigan coach Shaun Wane:

"We were desperate to win that one. It wasn't as convincing as I wanted it to be but Widnes have got some good players.

"It was a scratchy performance. We were not at our best but when you consider what we've been through the last few weeks.

"We lost a couple of major members of our first-team squad and, after a week off, I knew we wouldn't be at our best. But we scored 50 points at home so I'm fairly happy.

"Josh Charley did well. He's a great asset to the club. But the outstanding player for me was Micky Mac. I thought he was ruthless. His pass selection from dummy half was brilliant."

Widnes coach Denis Betts:

"We talked about the start and knew they would come after us. That was our worst fear.

"I'm massively disappointed. We defended well in patches but there were some really poor individual errors, some embarrassing one-on-one stuff.

"There was loads of endeavour and lots of effort but some poor quality.

"It's been one of those years for Shaun Briscoe. We've missed his influence. He's another big loss to us."


Wigan: S Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Gelling; O'Loughlin, Finch; Lauaki, McIlorum, Mossop, Hughes, Hock, Farrell.

Replacements: Prescott, L Tomkins, Crosby, Lloyd.

Widnes: Phelps; Flynn, Isa, Dean, Ah Van; Mellor, Hanbury; Cross, McShane, Pickersgill, Winterstein, Allen, Cahill.

Replacements: Briscoe, Davies, Craven, Gerrard.

Attendance: 13,445.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (Toulouse).