Charnley and Burgess battle for top spot

Josh Charnley is congratulated by Anthony Gelling after his third try for Wigan against London at the weekend

Josh Charnley is congratulated by Anthony Gelling after his third try for Wigan against London at the weekend

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THE battle to finish top of Wigan’s try-scoring chart has been ramped up by Josh Charnley’s scorching return from injury.

Joe Burgess is still on top with 18 touchdowns in all competitions.

But he has made twice as many appearances as his fellow wing flyer, who has registered 14 tries in just 10 appearances. In just Super League, Burgess (13) is just one clear of Charnley (12) with just eight rounds of the regular campaign remaining.

And both could be beaten to the top-spot by a forward – with Liam Farrell bagging 12 Super League tries.

Burgess admits the friendly banter between them is driving them on.

“There’s a bit of a competition to get more,” he said. “And it’s not just the wingers, Faz is doing well too, maybe I need to be greedy with the ball! But it’s good that everyone is scoring.”

Burgess – one of the success stories of the year – has watched Charnley claim 10 tries in just four games since returning from an injury lay-off, during which time the 19-year-old has bagged three.

And the last two of those, against London last Saturday, only came in the last three minutes of the game.

“I definitely needed those two tries, I couldn’t let it be a cricket score and not get over,” he smiled.

“Josh is catching me up, but it’s great to see him back and scoring so many tries. He’s a big player for us.”

Burgess’ 13 Super League tries has him trailing Catalan’s Morgan Escare, Warrington’s Joel Monaghan, St Helens’ Tom Makinson (all with 17) and Leeds’ Ryan Hall (15), while there are four other players are level with him.

Wigan’s home clash with Salford Red Devils on Thursday July 31 will be dedicated to Wigan and Leigh Hospice, which will become an official ticket outlet for the game and keep £5 of each ticket they sell at a reduced rate.

Warriors look set to lose Gil Dudson for two games to suspension after a Grade C charge for shoulder charging London’s Josh Drinkwater. Meanwhile, coach Shaun Wane plans to appeal a £500 fine for misconduct following comments made after the St Helens game.