Five things we learned from Wigan’s 46-8 win against Leeds...
1. Joe Greenwood did enough to suggest he is going to give Wigan a lift in the business end of the season.
A towering figure, the ex-St Helens and Gold Coast forward made a couple of half-breaks and will surely only get better as he gets to know the plays and the players.
With no injuries picked up and Ben Flower and Dan Sarginson available again for next week, Shaun Wane will have some healthy competition for the visit of Warrington next week.
2. Wigan were good. Really good.
Their composed, balanced and fast-paced performance surely surpassed any of the pre-match hopes and expectations.
Liam Marshall finished with a hat-trick including two well-crafted tries in the first-half - their long-passes created openings on the edges - as they boosted their confidence and tightened their grip on second spot.
After seven games on the road, this was the first match back at home on a new hybrid pitch - though Wane questioned the “crazy” decision to water the surface before kick-off.
3. Leeds were bad. Really bad.
They took an early lead but quickly faded, looking weary in possession and desperately lacking in confidence. And their squad wasn’t as depleted as in recent weeks.
This was their seventh straight defeat, an unwanted record in the summer era, and more pertinently it leaves them at risk of dropping into the bottom-four by the end of this weekend.
In the Rhinos’ favour, their four remaining matches before the Super-8s split are against Castleford, Wakefield, Widnes and Salford - at least two fall in the ‘winnable’ category.
4. Let the NRL club bosses whinge about altitude and jet-lag.
Leave them to moan about their players travelling internationally on a weekend left vacant for international matches.
Sean O’Loughlin, John Bateman, Ryan Hall and referee Ben Thaler all just got on with it, taking to the field five days after their roles in the historic Denver Test. Well done to all.
5. In recent years, home matches against Leeds have tended to draw a crowd around the 15,000 mark.
Last night the attendance was a disappointing 10,645.
Not only was it staged on a Thursday night, many criticised the fact Sky Sports put it up against England’s World Cup match with Roberto Martinez’s Belgium - almost-certainly factors in the lowest home crowd for a league match against Leeds in 16 years.
But if you get into bed with Sky, don’t be shocked when they steal the covers.