Liam Farrell scored an excellent hat-trick, as Wigan Warriors ran in eight tries, in a dominant 46-16 victory against Wakefield Trinity at the DW Stadium. The win boosts the Warriors play-off hopes, whilst Trinity continue to slide towards the bottom of the table. Here’s how the action unfolded.
A fine hat-trick from Liam Farrell helped Wigan ease to a comfortable home win against Wakefield, after a magnificent first-half performance from Adrian Lam’s side.
Wigan took just three minutes to break the deadlock when Farrell went over for the simplest of tries before he then set-up Zak Hardaker, who grounded the ball under pressure, for another Wigan score inside the opening ten minutes.
Willie Isa added a third Warriors try after just 14 minutes before Farrell went over for his second try of the game just past the half-hour mark, with George Williams setting-up both scores.
Jake Shorrocks continued the rout when he went over straight from the restart before Jarrod Sammut scored an interception try, right on the half-time hooter, to give the home side a 34-nil lead at the interval.
However, former Wigan man Ryan Hampshire dotted down, three minutes into the second-half, to finally get Wakefield on the scoreboard, after a neat Jacob Miller kick.
Oliver Gildart then ran in a superb length of the field try to extinguish any hopes of an unlikely Wakefield comeback before Hampshire touched down again for the visitors on the hour mark, having once again been picked out by another Miller kick.
Farrell completed his hat-trick with 10 minutes left to play to round off an excellent individual display, before an excellent offload from Bill Tupou set-up Max Jowitt for a consolation try late on.
Victory boosts the Warriors hopes of securing an end of season play-off place, and moves them up to fourth in the table, having played a game more than their nearest rivals, as they claim a sixth win in seven Super League matches.
Defeat for Wakefield continues their slump down the Super League table and could drop to 10th if Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos win their respective games but remain in eighth position for the time being, having lost in nine of their last 10 outings.
Wigan responded to their disappointing derby defeat to St Helens last week by scoring the game’s first try after just three minutes, when Farrell collected a short ball from Sam Powell for an easy try.
Farrell then turned provider, setting-up Hardaker for a try on nine minutes, with the full-back grabbing his fourth try in as many games after managing to ground the ball despite the presence of four Wakefield defenders.
The Warriors continued their blistering start to the match, with a third try on 14 minutes, when Williams changed the direction of the play before creating space for Isa to go over for another easy try
The departing stand-off was then the architect of another Warriors try, producing an excellent no-look pass to Farrell who crashed over for his second try of the game.
Moments later, Ben Jones-Bishop attempted to knock Danny Brough’s short restart back down to a teammate only to inadvertently pick out Shorrocks who sprinted to the line, having stepped inside of Brough’s attempted last-ditch tackle, to further extend Wigan’s lead.
Wakefield struggled right up until the half-time hooter sounded, when Sammut marked his 250th career appearance with a try having intercepted Jacob Miller’s attempted pass to send the home side into the break 34-nil ahead.
Ex-Wigan man Hampshire finally scored the visitors first points of the night, three minutes after the interval, when he touched down an excellent kick from Miller.
However, any hopes of a Wakefield comeback were quickly ended when Gildart scored a wonderful try, going the length of the field, having run on the outside of Pauli Pauli and evaded the tackle of Jowitt before touching down.
Trinity scored their second try of the match on the hour mark, when Miller combined with Hampshire once again. The half-back produced an excellent kick into the space for Hampshire, playing out on the wing, which the former Wigan man collected before scoring his second try of the night.
But the night belonged to Farrell, who collected a short pass from Williams before sliding over to complete his first Wigan hat-trick since 2013 with 10 minutes left to play. Hardaker added the extras in an impressive night from the kicking tee for the full-back, scoring seven goals from a possible eight.
The visitors did manage a late consolation try after David Fifita, a late inclusion in the Wakefield squad, did superbly to direct the ball into the path of Tupou who in-turn produced a beautiful offload for Jowitt who finished in the corner, but it was too little too late for Chris Chester’s side as Wigan eased to a 30-point victory.
Farrell is back!
Liam Farrell has only managed eight appearances in Super League this season and boy have Wigan missed him. His hat-trick against Wakefield was testament to just how good the 29-year-old can be, running excellent lines for all three of his tries. He’s now scored six tries in his eight appearances in 2019 which makes you wonder where Wigan would be in the table had he been fit for the entirety of the season.
Are Wigan the dark horses?
After a poor start to the 2019 Super League season, Wigan are now showing some excellent form with just six matches left to play before the play-offs. Against Wakefield they looked particularly solid in defence and with George Williams and Zak Hardaker also finding some fine form in their recent games could be the side to watch for in the play-offs.
Fifita finished for the season
Chris Chester took a huge gamble in playing David Fifita at the DW Stadium. The 6′ 3″ prop was a late addition to Trinity’s squad and will undergo foot surgery next week which could rule him out until the end of the season. Despite being 34 points behind at half-time, Chester kept the former Tonga international on the field and with a potential relegation battle on their hands will hope his injury has not worsened should he be able to feature again in 2019.
Where do Wakefield go from here?
Wakefield are in free fall. The Dreadnoughts have lost nine of their last 10 matches in all competitions and have conceded 30-points or more in each of their last five defeats. Their first-half showing against Wigan was extremely disappointing, appearing to be beat as soon as Farrell touched down in the third minute. Chris Chester must now find a way of snapping Trinity’s dismal form with a trip to league leaders St Helens on the horizon.
Wigan Warriors 46
Tries: Farrell 3, Hardaker, Isa, Shorrocks, Sammut, Gildart
Goals: Hardaker 7
Wakefield Trinity 16
Tries: Hampshire 2, Jowitt
Goals: Brough 2
Wigan: Hardaker, Hankinson, Sarginson, Gildart, Marshall, Williams, Sammut, Navarrete, Powell, Partington, Isa, Farrell, Smithies
Interchanges: Shorrocks, Havard, Clubb, Byrne
Wakefield: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Hampshire, Miller, Brough, Tanginoa, Randell, England, Batchelor, Arundel, King
Interchanges: Wood, Fifita, Annakin, Pauli