Wigan 54-6 Harlequins

Wigan remained in control of the battle at the top of Super League with a devastating first half display to see off Harlequins at the DW Stadium.

Despite a win for Warrington, the Warriors remain level on points with their rivals but hold a game in hand to be played against Castleford in July.

It took Wigan just quarter of an hour to kill off the Londoners, who never recovered from a slow start, although they did restore some pride with a sterling second half performance which limited the champions to just 12 points.

The Warriors set the tone for the early part of the evening with a try within the first two minutes. After a steady opening set, Pat Richards towering kick was spilled by Quins full-back Jamie O’Callaghan, and from the resulting field position, Wigan created an overlap to give Richards an easy opening score.

It was soon 12-0, as a knock-down by Karl Pryce, on loan from Wigan, gifted his parent club a fresh set of tackles, and after marching their way towards the line, a smart short ball from Thomas Leuluai found Ryan Hoffman running the perfect angle to cross.

Harlequins were struggling to get out of their own half, and their woes were compounded when an ambitious long pass by Luke Gale was easily plucked out of the air by George Carmont, who ran 40 metres unopposed, with Richards converting from under the sticks for 18-0.

It turned in to a procession as Michael McIllorum exploited some weak marker play before finding Sam Tomkins on his shoulder for a fourth try, and then a mistake by Chad Randall set Wigan up to score again, with Leuluai twisting through a couple of tackles and then reaching over.

With Richards in no mood to miss with the boot, Wigan found themselves 30-0 up after 22 minutes.

The champions were in rampant mood and lovely feet by Leuluai saw him cross for his second try and moments later, a break by Hoffman set up Sean O’Loughlin for a walk in try under the sticks to make it 42-0 on the half hour.

Quins stemmed the tide before the break and rolled their sleeves up after half time to frustrate the home side in what was admittedly a dull second half.

It took until the 53rd minute for Wigan to score again. Paul Deacon tried a short kick through, and when he couldn’t recover it, the ball bounced away for Tomkins who pounced for his second try.

To the credit of the visitors, they then enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure, and they finally got their reward and prevented a Wigan clean sheet when Mark Calderwood slid over in the right hand corner, after Gale’s long pass left the defence flat footed.

But Wigan weren’t to be outdone and managed the final say on the hooter. A well worked move off the back of a scrum saw Tomkins feed Richards to cross on the left, and he dusted himself off to make it nine from nine with the boot and complete a comfortable victory.

Wigan: S Tomkins, Richards, Carmont, J Tomkins, Charnley, Finch, Leuluai, Coley, McIllorum, Mossop, Farrell, Hoffman, O’Loughlin. Subs: Deacon, Lima, Tuson, Hughes.

Tries: Pat Richards (3, 79), Ryan Hoffman (7), George Carmont (11), Sam Tomkins (12, 53), Thomas Leuluai (20, 24), Sean O’Loughlin (27).
Goals: Richards 9/9

Harlequins: O’Callaghan, Calderwood, Clubb, Pryce, Melling, Gale, Randall, Wilkes, Ellis, Ward, Ambler, Kouparitsas, Bailey. Subs: Mitchell, Temata, Burnett, Krasniqi.
Tries:     Mark Calderwood (78)
Goal: Gale

Attendance: 12,813
Referee: James Child

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