Dewsbury 4 Wigan 54

Josh Charnley scored 22 points as Wigan cruised into the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Sunday, 8th May 2016, 3:57 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th May 2016, 6:00 pm
Josh Charnley scored 22 points in Wigan's win over Dewsbury
Josh Charnley scored 22 points in Wigan's win over Dewsbury

Shaun Wane’s men racked up 10 tries - five in a blistering opening quarter - to race to their biggest win of the year against part-timers Dewsbury.

Charnley bagged a double - and kicked seven goals from eight attempts - with John Bateman and Oliver Gildart also crossing twice.

The game flatlined in the final quarter but, by that point, Wigan had already passed the half-century mark.

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The visitors simply had too much athleticism, skill and energy for their outclassed opponents.

In truth, they could have scored more, yet it would be a harsh critic to find fault with this display. It was a professional, efficient and well-rounded performance and - in a season when their attack has repeatedly misfired - it was pleasing to see them score so many tries.

Now the Warriors - who return to Super League action against Hull FC on Friday - are just two wins away from a return to Wembley for the first time since 2013.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane didn’t take any chances with his line-up. Fit-again Dom Manfredi and Sean O’Loughlin returned to the side beaten 40-10 by Warrington in their previous game.

And while winning margins count for little in Cup competitions, this was a golden chance for the Warriors to sharpen their attacking skills.

Many of these Cup mismatches follow a similar trend, with the Championship club putting up a brave fight before succumbing to their opponents’ superior fitness and class.

This was different, in that Wigan made a whirlwind start to score five tries in the opening quarter before the Rams improved.

Charnley crossed in the second-minute from O’Loughlin’s bullet pass and, three minutes later, he unselfishly sent George Williams - back in the starting line-up for the first time in two months - over from a wonderful, cascading attack. Matty Smith was unable to convert either in a swirling breeze.

Dewsbury tidied up their play and earned repeat sets on Wigan’s line, but the visiting defence held firm. And with their forwards eating metres in the middle, Charnley earned his second from O’Loughlin’s dummy-half pass.

The winger also took over the goal-kicking duties but was unable to improve, keeping it 12-0. He did, however, prevent Rams winger Donald Kudangirana from scoring before they resumed normal service with two further tries in eight minutes.

Sam Powell made the early inroads and centre Gildart showed balance and pace to thread through the defence, touching down under the posts to allow Charnley an easy conversion.

Dan Sarginson then piled on the misery to make it 24-0 and, by this point, Wigan were averaging more than a point a minute.

O’Loughlin was withdrawn in a triple substitution and the rest of the opening half was a more even affair, with Wigan outscoring Rams two tries to one.

Paul Sykes, an ex-England international, took advantage of Bateman’s slip to cross for the home side’s first points.

Wigan redressed the balance with two tries by Bateman before half-time.

His first came from a neat, quick passing exchange and his second was down to a combination of his power and Dewsbury’s tiring defence. With Charnley adding both goals they led 36-4 at the break.

And the Warriors took just 72 seconds of the second-half to extend that lead as Ryan Sutton trundled over for his first try of the year. Lewis Tierney came on from the bench and it was his scorching run and nicely-timed pass which sent Gildart over from long-range, Charnley’s extras making it 48-4 in their favour.

The biggest worry was the sight of O’Loughlin leaving the action just minutes after reintroduction.

In the barmy late stages both sides had ample chances to cross for tries but neither managed to, keeping the game scoreless in a scrappy final quarter.