Wane: Smith did the business

Matty Smith in action for Wigan against Wakefield
Matty Smith in action for Wigan against Wakefield

SHAUN Wane showered praise on debutants Iain Thornley and Matty Smith as they helped steer Wigan to a 52-10 win at Wakefield.

Former Sale Sharks RU winger Thornley bagged two second-half tries, while Smith came off the bench to make some telling contributions.

The victory moves Wigan five points clear at the top of the Super League ladder, ahead of Warrington’s match against Catalan.

And it proved the perfect tonic to their shock loss by Bradford a week earlier, as they sharpened their attack in preparation for Saturday’s mouth-watering Challenge Cup semi-final showdown against Leeds.

Wane said: “Overall I’m really happy.

“If I could’ve had that score before the game I’d have taken it every day.

“Some of the tries we scored were superb and we had a few penalties against us in the second half where we defended set after set and we defended really well.

“I didn’t want to limp into the semi-final and I don’t think we have.

“I thought Iain went well.

“He’s a big, strong unit who’s hard to stop and he’s going to be a good player for us.

“And Matty had a great debut. He really gave us a lift when he came off the bench.”

Unfortunately for Wane, both Thornley and Smith are ineligible for this weekend’s Cup decider.

But he revealed Jeff Lima, Josh Charnley, and Mike McIlorum may return from injury lay-offs and – with Tomkins in such insatiable form – the holders will fancy their chances of a return to Wembley.

The full-back’s third try was an audacious, double chip and collect which Wane described as “amazing”.

Wakefield coach Richard Agar added: “He’s a very special player. But Wigan have a lot of very talented players – I think anyone who wants to tackle Gareth Hock has to be prepared to throw themselves under a bus.”

Evergreen centre George Carmont also grabbed a hat-trick, with Harrison Hansen and Hock scoring the other tries.

Wane reported no fresh injury concerns.