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Wigan ease past Wildcats
Warriors power to fifth successive win at Belle Vue
Wigan Warriors have eased to their third Engage Super League win on the spin with a 26-0 triumph over Wakefield - their fifth successive victory at Belle Vue.
The reigning champions barely broke sweat in the West Yorkshire sunshine, running in five tries as the Wildcats slumped to their eighth defeat in 12 league fixtures.
Pat Richards started the ball rolling in only the second minute and further tries from Sam Tomkins and Josh Charnley put the visitors in cruise control at the break.
Wakefield threatened the Wigan line after the interval, however Joel Tomkins and Sean O'Loughlin sealed a comfortable win for Michael Maguire's men.
Both sides looked flat after enjoying memorable Good Friday derby successes but Wigan had the lively Sam Tomkins to light up the otherwise dull proceedings.
The Wildcats looked to be in for a long afternoon when the champions scored the game's first try after only two minutes, left winger Richards taking O'Loughlin's long pass to stroll over for the easiest of tries, his third in four days.
The Warriors dominated the first half but a combination of gritty defence and casual attacking play kept the home side in contention, although they did not create a single try-scoring opportunity.
Wigan eventually added to their lead on the half-hour mark, with Sam Tomkins supporting a break by second rower Ryan Hoffman after he had been put through a gap by Brett Finch, who was given the chance to start only his third match for the club.
The full-back then turned provider when he re-gathered his own kick over the defence and combined with older brother Joel, an effective centre, to get winger Charnley over for his eighth try of the season.
That gave the visitors a 14-0 half-time lead and it would have been worse for Wakefield but for Richards missing with two of his conversion attempts and the heroic defensive stint of workaholic captain Glenn Morrison.
Warriors second rower Harrison Hansen was forced out of the action less than half an hour into the match after two ferocious, legal hits from the veteran Australian forward, while centre George Carmont also went off injured.
Wigan missed a chance to score early in the second half when prop Andy Coley broke past a number of would-be tacklers to reach the line but dropped the ball in the act of scoring, which just about summed up the Warriors' afternoon.
When Wakefield finally managed to threaten the visitors' line, the champions showed their determination not to concede by scrambling to deny substitutes James Davey and Paul Johnson.
As the Wildcats continued to press, hooker Matty Wildie was held up over the line and Morrison was within inches of touching down Tommy Lee's grubber kick.
Richards then missed a glorious chance to claim a second try but Wigan duly extended their lead on 61 minutes when Wakefield's defenders fell off Joel Tomkins, allowing the England international to cross for a solo try.
The visitors then added a fifth try just before the end when substitute Liam Farrell sent his skipper O'Loughlin over, with Richards kicking his third goal.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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