Wigan 62 Widnes 4

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins

SAM Tomkins celebrated his 24th birthday with a hat-trick of tries but he was overshadowed by a four-star show from England team-mate Josh Charnley as Wigan romped to a crushing victory over a disappointing Widnes.

Wigan, whose only two defeats this season have come in the absence of the talismanic Tomkins, bounced back in style from their setback at Leeds to run in 11 tries and close to within a point of Super League leaders Huddersfield.

The Warriors were without five first-choice forwards through injury but still had too much power and skill for the outclassed Vikings while Charnley and Tomkins provided the class out wide to claim seven of their side’s tries between them.

ChrisTuson, Liam Farrell, Pat Richards and Ian Thornley also crossed for the hosts, with Richards kicking nine goals.

Wigan were on the verge of keeping a clean sheet for the third time in eight games until Lloyd White scored Widnes’ solitary try six minutes from the end and coach Shaun Wane will also be concerned over the fitness of his skipper Sean O’Loughlin, who went off before half-time with a suspected broken rib.