Wigan crush injury hit Hull FC
Sam Powell made a tryscoring debut and goalkicking winger Josh Charnley became Super League's leading scorer with a 24-point haul against injury-hit Hull FC as impressive Wigan put one hand on the league leaders trophy.by NRL
Sam Powell made a tryscoring debut and goalkicking winger Josh Charnley became Super League's leading scorer with a 24-point haul against injury-hit Hull FC as impressive Wigan put one hand on the league leaders trophy.
The prolific Charnley scored a hat-trick of tries, taking his total for the season to 30 in 22 appearances, and also kicked six goals to leapfrog Catalan Dragons' Scott Dureau at the top of the scoring chart.
Full-back Sam Tomkins was also in dazzling form with a brace of tries as the Warriors cruised to a victory that put them five points clear of Warrington Wolves, who face a tricky derby at St Helens on Monday.
Tomkins' tries brought him the eight points he needed to bring up 500 for the club, but his contribution was much more significant as he teased and tormented the Hull defence all night.
Wigan, who had 20-year-old home-grown stand-off Powell deputising for injured Australian playmaker Brett Finch, were boosted by the surprise return of skipper Sean O'Loughlin against opponents lacking eight regulars through injury.
Hull were especially badly hit by the late withdrawals of Jordan Turner and Danny Houghton, which meant a recall for Australian scrum-half Brett Seymour, and they also lost England centre Kirk Yeaman midway through the first half after he went over on his ankle.
It was the Tomkins show from the moment the England full-back sidestepped Hull back-rower Joe Westerman for the game's first try after only 90 seconds.
He made a half-break that enabled centre George Carmont to send second rower Gareth Hock over six minutes later and his pass got Charnley in at the corner for his first try on 16 minutes.
Tomkins was also involved in the move that saw Jack Hughes get Charnley over for his second try nine minutes later and the youngster grabbed his second on the stroke of half-time after running onto Matty Smith's precision kick to the line.
Hull's only reply before half-time came from 20-year-old winger Tom Lineham, who took Richard Whiting's pass to score his third try in as many senior appearances.
Goalkicker Jamie Foster, who is on loan from St Helens, was off target for the first time for his new club after succeeding with 13 from 13 in his first two games but his opposite number fared even worse with the boot.
The Warriors would have been out of sight by half-time had Charnley been able to convert all the tries but he was successful with just two from five attempts.
A 24-6 lead was more than adequate, however.
Tomkins showed he is not faultless when he dropped a return pass from Harrison Hansen and demonstrated his frustration by booting the ball into the back row of the stand but there was no stopping Charnley.
He completed his second hat-trick of the season on 50 minutes after Hughes had broken clear 70 metres out from the Hull line.
As Wigan continued to dominate, Smith dropped the ball over the line but made amends with a glorious break through the heart of the Hull defence to get substitute Liam Farrell over for Wigan's seventh try on 67 minutes.
Wigan lost prop Epahalame Lauaki after he was laid out by Westerman, who was put on report for the challenge, but they extended their lead with a solo try from hooker Michael McIlorum.
Hull battled to the end, largely through the efforts of Tom Briscoe and Willie Manu in their makeshift roles of full-back and centre respectively, and were rewarded 10 minutes from the end when Seymour scored their second try, with Foster adding the goal.
But the Warriors had the final say when Powell dummied his way over for their last try and Charnley kicked his sixth goal from nine attempts.
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