Wane happy with Widnes rout

Josh Charnley fights through the Widnes defence
Josh Charnley fights through the Widnes defence

SHAUN Wane praised hat-trick hero Josh Charnley as Wigan cruised to a Challenge Cup semi-final against London Broncos – but admitted he would have been happy just to win.

Charnley’s first-half treble helped Warriors recapture their trademark dominant form as they despatched Widnes Vikings 48-4.

And Wane is now looking ahead to another congested schedule as his men face arch rivals St Helens next Monday before the cup semi-final on the Saturday.

“I thought we scored some good tries – I thought Josh Charnley was outstanding,” said Wane.

“He has been consistently good since our game at Leeds many months ago.

“He tries hard in training and works hard on individual skill and that shows in how he plays.

“It is a cup competition so it is just one of those where it is win at all costs.”

The Warriors boss was also happy to have Sam Tomkins, Lee Mossop and Sean O’Loughlin back from injury and he single out the skipper’s importance.

“You’re not looking for a perfect performance, it’s win at all costs and we did that,” Wane said.

“It was our best performance for about three weeks and it shows what a difference Lockers makes when he comes back in the team.”

Tomkins and O’Loughlin were brought off with the result beyond doubt early in the second half and Wane moved to assure Warriors fans it was to ease them back into action ahead of two crucial games.

“I thought we were far enough in front to do that and overall we were crisp in our attack,” Wane said.

And Wigan’s pack is set to receive further boosts as Ben Flower and Epalahame Lauaki approach full fitness.

On Flower’s absence Wane said: “He wasn’t quite right. He trained this week but just wasn’t feeling 100 per cent so I wasn’t prepared to risk him. It’ll be good when he is back.

“Lauaki is right on the edge as well so we have front rowers fighting for places and competition where I want it.”

Wane also has the unfamiliar relief of coming through a game with no fresh injury concerns but isn’t going to go easy on the players in training.

“I’m pleased the players have been rewarded with a semi-final and obviously we have to give a good account of ourselves,” he said.

“If you don’t turn up with your A one game you will get burned.

“We have a massive game against St Helens next week. That’s first and foremost.

“It’s a big month for us but we have to get our teeth into St Helens next and I can’t wait.”

After the derby at Langtree Park, Wane will have just four days to prepare Wigan for their assault on a record-extending 30th Challenge Cup final but is relishing the challenge.

“I might get one team run in,” he said.

“Our preparations will be spot on this time.

“And I know if we are on and defending tough we will trouble teams.”