Five things we learned from Wigan’s 28-10 win at Hull KR...
1. Wigan will miss Sam Tomkins.
That much is true. His fingerprints have been all over their strong start to the season, and he played a crucial role in this win, too.
A decade and a day after a five-star, five-try debut in a Challenge Cup match, he took a grip of the final quarter when the sides were level 10-10 and scored the try which put them back in front.
He finished with four goals... and also managed to irritate the Hull KR faithful, too, with his conversations with referee Chris Kendall!
2. Danny Tickle may face repercussions for the punch which saw him red-carded on the stroke of half-time.
He retaliated when John Bateman appeared to lash out - Tim Sheens suggested it was a punch, Shaun Wane a shove - and Tickle, a Challenge Cup finalist with Wigan in 2004, hit Bateman in the head.
Bateman was sin-binned, while Adam Quinlan also saw yellow for a separate offence, but it wasn’t really a stormy game.
Tickle’s dismissal initially served to fire KR up during the second-half before they ran out of steam.
3. Give Hull KR credit.
They went into the game missing several of their key players and, after Tickle’s dismissal, lost in-form prop Robbie Mulhern to a potentially season-ending injury.
Yet they had a real dig and made it awkward for Wigan, who squandered several try-scoring opportunities. The scoreline flattered Wigan, who scored two late tries.
The Warriors will return to the KCom Craven Park for a Super League game on Friday, May 25.
4. Tony Clubb is turning into a try-scoring machine!
He revealed last week how the props had challenged themselves to score more, and his close-range effort late in the second-half was his sixth try in 14 matches this year.
That is more than the five tries he chalked up over 63 appearances in the previous three years.
Clubb’s tally is equal to those of Sam Tomkins and Tom Davies, who also crossed for second-half tries at Hull KR... the latter denying those punters who had taken Clubb for the last try - at 50/1 - a generous pay-day!
5. And so Wigan’s reward for this victory was a place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
And what a game they have to look forward to - a rematch of last year’s pulsating tie, away at Warrington.
This year’s match is expected to be picked by the BBC for coverage on June 2 or 3, and the two sides will have a sparring match at the Magic Weekend, first.
It means Wigan’s schedule for four weeks is: Hull KR (a), Warrington (n), Hull KR (a), Warrington (n).