Wigan coach Shaun Wane warned tougher tests lie ahead in the quest to reach Wembley after a 10-try victory over Dewsbury in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
The Warriors raced to a 54-4 win in the sixth round, securing a quarter-final place. They scored five tries in the opening 18 minutes to effectively kill the contest, earning a home tie against Castleford in the next round.
Although they took their foot off the gas and the Rams responded bravely, there was never any doubt about Wigan’s progression.
“This is not the easiest place to come. I’m happy with that score,” said Wane. “We protected a lot of players in the second half with Friday’s game against Hull in mind.
“We went a bit sloppy in the last quarter and could have been a bit smarter.”
Sam Powell, Sean O’Loughlin and George Williams were among those who were shielded by being substituted during the last 40 minutes.
Wane, who won the Challenge Cup as a Wigan player in 1988 and then guided the team to success in 2013 against Hull FC, added: “It’s a competition that I absolutely love and we are just two big performances away from Wembley but there is a lot of work to do before that.”
The Warriors boss revealed that Sam and Joel Tomkins, Liam Farrell, Ben Flowers and hitherto suspended Tony Clubb are all likely to be available for Friday’s Super League game.
Dewsbury’s Australian coach Glenn Morrison was not fazed by the scoreline but admitted the pre-match team-sheet was a little intimidating.
O’Loughlin, Dom Manfredi and Dom Crosby were all back from injury and Morrison said: “They showed respect by putting out probably their strongest side this year and were just too good in the first half.
“At half-time (when the Rams trailed 36-4) we spoke about being lazy and them getting us on the inside and having too many offloads.
“In the second half we only competed at 50 per cent and still only conceded three tries and there were some encouraging signs.
“We got some line breaks and came close to scoring a couple of times and we have some things to work on next week.”
Dewsbury too have struggled with injuries all season and Morrison added: “The amount of staff Wigan had in the corridors was more than the amount of players I’ve got fresh.
“It was always going to be a tough ask against the side they put out against us.
“Since I’ve come into the country the standard of the Championship has improved 100 per cent - there are four full-time teams and internationals playing in it now.
“It’s a tough competition and you can’t take it lightly, although I wish they had used a few fringe players today.”
Josh Charnley finished with two tries, the second his 150th for Wigan in barely six-and-a-half seasons, plus seven goals for a tally of 22 points.
Oliver Gildart and John Bateman also scored twice each, while Williams, Dan Sarginson, Ryan Sutton and Lewis Tierney added the other tries.
Former Super League player Paul Sykes got the Rams’ only try.
The draw for the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup is:
Hull FC v Catalans Dragons.
Wigan v Castleford.
Warrington v Widnes.
Huddersfield v Wakefield.
Ties to be played on the weekend of June 25-26.