Five things we learned from Wigan’s 30-0 win against Salford...
1. What was that about Wigan being a second-half team?
They scored six tries against Salford, split evenly down the middle with three in each half!
The scoreline only hints at their dominance. Throw in the seven goal-line drop-outs, and the few occasions players were held up over Salford’s line, and this could have been even more comprehensive.
But they chalked up a sixth straight win, cemented second-spot in the ladder and posted their first ‘nilling’ of the campaign - it would be a harsh judge to find much wrong with that.
2. Try of the night arguably belonged to Oliver Gildart.
He showed good footwork to break through Salford’s line in the 23rd minute and then blaze around the full-back to cross.
Incredibly, it was the fourth successive game he has opened their scoring, and it was his sixth try in his last five games.
The clamour to get the out-of-contract centre tied down beyond this year grows louder each week.
3. Sam Tomkins is hoping for an England recall for next month’s Test against New Zealand in America.
And he did his chances no harm with another composed and classy display.
His two second-half tries wouldn’t find a place on his own highlights reel, but they all count, and Tomkins made his presence felt elsewhere by either orchestrating attacks, adding the polish or marshalling the defence.
The only blemish on his report card was his second-half kicking. Having nailed all three of his first-half conversions, he missed all three after the break.
4. Usually, there are restrictions about what is allowed to take place before the match to protect the DW Stadium pitch - understandable, given the historic problems with the surface.
But as Latics have played their last home match of the campaign - and month-long maintenance work is now to take place - the Warriors were allowed more activity in the build-up. A reserves game was called off but junior matches were staged, there were Star Wars characters - to mark May the 4th (get it?) - and a singer and young players signing contracts on the field... it all added to a carnival, ‘homely’ atmosphere in the build-up.
Wigan’s next scheduled home game is against Leeds on June 28. If they progress in the Challenge Cup and get a home tie on June 2-3, it remains to be seen whether it will take place at the DW Stadium or not.
5. Salford have had a decent campaign - gauged against their pre-season predictions - but their squad lacks depth.
Without a clutch of key players, including Robert Lui, they simply had no match to Wigan.
They didn’t lack effort, but they didn’t have the class or big-game nous.
One of their players who did catch the eye was hooker Logan Tomkins, who motored through the 80 minutes against his former club, and facing both brothers Joel and Sam.
Salford face Championship outfit Leigh in the Challenge Cup next weekend - given the recent form of both sides, it could be an intriguing tie.