WIGAN coach Shaun Wane hailed the achievement of Pat Richards after he climbed to third place in the club’s all-time list of scorers with a try and six goals in Sunday’s 54-16 win at Bradford.
The 2010 Man of Steel’s 16-point haul took his tally for the Warriors to 1,943, edging him in front of Frano Botica, with only Jim Sullivan and Andy Farrell now in front of him.
“I thought he was really impressive today,” Wane said. “He was one of our best players.
“Frano was a great player but the way Pat carries the ball back better, he’s better than Frano.”
It was all too easy for the Warriors, with Darrell Goulding, Josh Charnley, Liam Farrell and Chris Tuson all scoring two tries apiece.
Wane has been delighted with the way his side have bounced back from their opening home defeat by Huddersfield as they followed up last week’s win over champions Leeds - but he believes there is more improvement to come.
“To beat Leeds last week and come here and score 50-odd points, I’m very pleased,” he said.
“It was a good performance. Our skill level when we kept hold of the ball was fantastic and some of the tries we scored were impressive.
“Our completion rate in the second half was 90 per cent, which was a massive lift for me. The key is making sure when we have a chance of winning games, we finish our opponents off.
“There are a few areas need to fix up if we are going to challenge for trophies and we will get better.
“We gave silly penalties away early on and that will be one of the main focuses this week. I don’t want to accept that.”
Bradford, who gave debuts to centre Keith Lulia and prop forward Phil Joseph, suffered a major blow when they lost goalkicking half-back Luke Gale with ankle ligament damage only nine minutes into the game.
“That made it more difficult,” said coach Mick Potter. “It was unfortunate but these things happen. We still had 13 on 13.”
The Bulls trailed 16-0 after 22 minutes before hitting back through Jason Crookes and Jarrod Sammut to briefly cut the gap to six points but were blown away early in the second half.
“It’s a big disappointment,” said Potter. “We came up against a team who were red hot and we were poor in some areas. We need to get better.
“I think the boys were trying their best but other team played really well.
“We sparked up a bit in the second half and got our kicking game in order but we need to do that for 80 minutes.”