Wigan 48 Huddersfield 10: Five things we learned
Five things we learned from Wigan's 48-10 win against Huddersfield....
1. At the start of this month, Tony Clubb said Wigan would “put someone to the sword soon”. They made good on their promise.
This nine-try rout was probably their best display of the season and certainly their biggest win since August, 2016.
St Helens, of course, will provide much sterner opposition but it wasn’t a bad way to sharpen the knives ahead of the eagerly-anticipated Good Friday showdown.
2. Tom Davies won the official man of the match, but it wasn’t that kind of display - there were stand-outs throughout the Wigan side.
The most pleasing part was how complete their performance was. The defence was aggressive and well-marshalled, props Ben Flower and Ryan Sutton punched holes in the Giants line, the halves kicked well, and the attacks were crisp, cohesive and varied.
There was an overall vibrancy to their performance which was great to see. And what pleased Shaun Wane the most was...
3. Their ruthlessness.
Leading 28-4 at half-time, it would have been easy to put the cue on the rack in the second-half but they maintained their intensity and - impressively - didn’t make a single handling error after the break. Shaun Wane, mindful of the challenge over Easter, even had the luxury of resting key players Sam Tomkins, George Williams and Sean O’Loughlin late on.
4. The work Sam Tomkins has done with kicking consultant Charlie Hodgson appears to be paying off.
The full-back struck five of his six conversions - including three efforts from the touchline - before being rested midway through the second-half (replacement Morgan Escare kicked one from three).
Tomkins is third on the goal-kicking charts with 23, with a solid 77 per cent strike-rate so far.
5. As good as Wigan were, they didn’t have much to beat. Huddersfield were poor.
Yes, three of their best four players - Sebastian Ikahihifo, Jake Mamo and Leroy Cudjoe - didn’t make the team and the other, Jermaine McGillvary, limped off after the break.
But even accounting for those absentees, the Giants were soft and looked like a side feeling sorry for themselves. Their fortunes may pick up when they get their stars back from injury, but their Easter schedule - games against Grand Finalists Leeds and Castleford sandwich a trip to Catalans - looks daunting.