Wigan 34-6 Wakefield: Bibby hat-trick as Warriors run away in second half

James Gordon

Jake Bibby scored the first hat-trick of his career to help Wigan to a 34-6 win over Wakefield at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

They had to stay patient to record the win, only pulling clear from Trinity in the final half hour after the Yorkshiremen had sent the game in to half-time at 6-6.

The Warriors welcomed back Jackson Hastings to their starting team, with Willie Isa and Liam Farrell standing in at centre due to their ongoing injury issues in the outside backs.

Young forwards Morgan Smithies, Oliver Partington, Ethan Havard and Liam Byrne had to stand up to a stern test from the Wakefield pack, and it was one of the opposing forwards, David Fifita, that opened the scoring midway through the first half from close range.

The lead was shortlived, as Partington secured a response albeit with some doubt over whether he grounded the ball, and Wakefield felt that Wigan should have been down to 12 men when Isa went high on Tom Johnstone, which resulted in the winger having to sit out the rest of the match.

Isa had a hand in the first try of the second half that gave Wigan the lead, taking on a lovely delayed pass by John Bateman to quickly move on for Bibby’s first.

Wakefield continued to ask questions, but they were broken by a play of true class, as Liam Farrell gathered a loose ball in back play, weaved his way through the defence and then fed a scampering Zak Hardaker on his shoulder to score a fine try.

That seemed to break Wakefield’s resolve and when another quick pass from Isa put Bibby in for his second, the game was all but over.

Bateman eased over for his first try since returning from the NRL and there was still time for Bibby’s hat-trick – Harry Smith’s high kick knocked back by Farrell for Hardaker, who had the vision to kick across field in to the grateful clutches of the former Salford man.

Wigan: Hardaker, Bibby, Isa, Farrell, Hanley, Hastings, Leuluai, Bullock, Powell, Singleton, Smithies, Bateman, Partington. Subs: Shorrocks, Havard, Byrne, Smith.

Tries: Partington, Bibby 3, Hardaker, Bateman. Goals: Hardaker 5

Wakefield: Hampshire, Senior, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Lino, Fifita, Crowther, Arona, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman. Subs: Wood, Tanginoa, Batchelor, Green.

Tries: Fifita. Goals: Lino