Wigan Warriors 44 Hull KR 6

Liam Marshall's four-try haul and an impressive debut from Gabriel Hamlin were among the highlights of this comfortable Easter Monday victory.

Monday, 2nd April 2018, 6:08 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd April 2018, 6:16 pm
Sam Tomkins scores in Wigan's win over Hull KR

Wigan effectively secured the result with a five-try burst - including two from Liam Farrell - inside 13-minutes to take a 26-0 lead into half-time.

Winger Marshall also crossed during that golden spell and added three further tries after the break.

In drizzly, cold conditions, it was the perfect tonic following the Good Friday loss to St Helens.

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Wigan remain second behind leaders Saints and with Warrington beating Castleford, the Wolves are level with the Warriors.

They head to Catalans on Saturday hoping to maintain their good form - and Shaun Wane may just have a few selection dilemmas to consider first.

Australian prop Gabe Hamlin enjoyed an eye-catching debut, displaying the energy, aggression and presence which persuaded Wane to sign him from South Sydney. And winger Marshall showed his predatory instincts down a lethal left-edge, taking his tally to an incredible nine tries in just four appearances this year.

Wane brought those two in - as well as Dan Sarginson and Romain Navarrete - to freshen the team up. Josh Woods, who made only his third appearance in Friday’s derby, started at halfback in place of Sam Powell (sickness) and fit-again Sam Tomkins replaced Morgan Escare (concussion).

Sean O’Loughlin, Joe Burgess, Taulima Tautai and Tony Clubb were rested.

Hull KR, back in Super League this year, had ex-St Helens prop Mose Masoe in their ranks but key halfback Danny McGuire missed out with concussion.

Both sides headed into this game on the back of Good Friday losses and Wane predicted there would be two “hungry” teams - the Robins looked more bloated by half-time.

From the opening kick-off, when the ball ricocheted off Thomas Leuluai’s head, it took until the 25th minute for Wigan to trouble the scoreboard but there were highlights in an efficient display, including the surging carries of Tom Davies.

KR disrupted two early Warriors attacks but the damn burst open when Sam Tomkins scooped up the ball from dummy-half and squeezed through the line-defence to touch down. And that proved the start of a five-try blitz in the final 15 minutes of the opening half - all down the left channel - with Tomkins converting three.

Farrell ran a great line and showed impressive acceleration to burst through from Williams’ slick pass. Marshall then jetted away down the touchline and picked out Williams, from the swarming support, to cross and make it 16-0.

A brief scuffle between Masoe and Bateman briefly interrupted the scoring, before Marshall chased Tomkins’ stabbed kick, dribbled the ball on and grounded.

Farrell touched down his second from Williams’ measured kick to make it 26-0 at the break.

KR didn’t help themselves, failing to find touch with a penalty and surrendering possession with a forward pass, but between that Chris Atkin touched down his own grubber, which Ryan Shaw converted.

But the hosts quickly reopened their 26-point advantage, Marshall registering his second try by touching down Tomkins’ grubber in the corner - the latter masterfully struck the sideline conversion.

The game fell into a set-for-set exchange as the Robins, knowing the game was lost, at least attempted to repair their wounded pride. But having been placed on a team warning by referee Ben Thaler for repeatedly slowing down the ruck, Josh Johnson was shown a sinbin and - moments later - Marshall dived over in the corner for his hat-trick.

The winger scorched away to touch down his fourth - much to the delight of the home fans in the 10,977 crowd.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Davies, Sarginson, Gildart, Marshall; Williams, Woods; Flower, Leuluai, Navarrete, Isa, Farrell, Bateman. Subs: J Tomkins, Sutton, Ganson, Hamlin.

Hull KR: Quinlan; Shaw, Minns, Salter, Carney; Atkin, Marsh; Jewitt, Lee, Masoe, Blair, Greenwood, Clarkson. Subs: Scruton, Donaldson, Johnson, Dagger.

Referee: Ben Thaler

Half-time: 26-0

Attendance: 10,977

Starman: Sam Tomkins