Wigan 30, Salford 0

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins

Sam Tomkins crossed twice as Wigan strolled to their sixth straight victory to keep within touching distance of pace-setters St Helens.

liver Gildart provided the first-half breakthrough - incredibly, he has now opened the scoring in four successive matches.

Tony Clubb and George Williams also crossed, Tomkins added a second-half double before John Bateman added the final gloss.

But Shaun Wane may be as pleased with their defensive effort - this was the first time they have 'nilled' a side this year.

Sam Powell and Morgan Escare both left the action in the second-half for concussion assessments but, all in all, this was a satisfying night for Wigan as they claimed their sixth straight win.

If the game lacked drama - owing to Salford's tepid show - Wigan did enough to please their fans before they embark on a break from home to allow pitch maintenance work at the DW.

In a solid team display crackling with energy, there were some particularly impressive individual efforts.

Romain Navarrete was aggressive and industrious, Willie Isa continued his good form and Sam Tomkins and George Williams pulled the strings.

Wigan, who beat Salford 40-12 on the opening day, were led out by Tomkins in the absence of Sean O'Loughlin, who was rested. Tom Davies (ankle) returned from a spell on the sidelines for Joe Burgess following his season-ending knee injury.

The reserves curtain-raiser had been called off but junior games on the pitch - and the glorious weather - helped create a carnival atmosphere before kick-off.

Shaun Wane predicted Salford's 60-10 mauling by St Helens in their last outing would make them dangerous opposition, but he had little to worry about.

Missing a clutch of players including Australian stand-off Robert Lui, the Red Devils rarely threatened the hosts' line, coughed up too much possession and crumbled in defence too often.

As expected, on-loan half Jake Shorrocks faced his parent club but never really got the opportunities to make an impression.

In the first quarter, Wigan had several chances without making them count. Liam Marshall couldn't collect Williams' pass after a wonderful break from the halfback, Isa was ushered into touch and Ben Flower was held up over the line.

But the kept chipping away and, when the breakthrough arrived, it was from their own half.

Gildart exhibited his attacking class to step through the line, and he had the pace and poise to round full-back Derrell Olpherts for his sixth try in five matches.

Warriors rapidly doubled their lead. A fumble by Salford turned over possession and, attacking a splintered defence, Marshall sent Clubb thundering over. A third soon followed as Williams feigned a pass to the left before arrowing through an opening. Tomkins converted all three tries - but then missed all three which followed in the second-half.

Salford improved from the restart, without posing any real threat to Wigan's line. Powell was withdrawn before the 50th minute mark for a concussion assessment after taking a whack on the back of his head as he bounced off a tackle.

Warriors were making good ground on the back of charges by Taulima Tautai and Clubb and they weren't afraid to give the ball width, but they just couldn't get over the line.

Gildart was held up and twice they forced drop-outs before Tomkins darted for the line, aimed low and brought the try which opened up a 22-point gap.

Passing the hour-mark, with the result settled, the game was in danger of flatlining.

But Wigan prevented that from happening, with Tomkins crossing for a second from close range on the left before, on the right, Bateman shrugged his way through the line.

Wigan forced seven drop-outs and had they converted more of their chances, the win could easily have been more comprehensive - but it would be a harsh-judge who would complain at their form.

They take a break from Super League next week, travelling to Hull KR in a Challenge Cup tie.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Davies, Sarginson, Gildart, Marshall; Williams, Powell; Navarrete, Leuluai, Flower, Isa, Bateman, J Tomkins. Subs: Clubb, Sutton, Tautai, Escare.

Salford: Olpherts; Johnson, Sa'u, Welham, Bibby; Shorrocks, Littlejohn; Kopczak, L Tomkins, Bennion, Hauraki, Lannon, Murray. Subs: Tasi, Burgess, McCarthy, NZoungou.

Referee: C Kendall

Half-time: 18-0

Attendance: 10,733

Starman: Sam Tomkins