Any hopes Halifax harboured of maintaining their unbeaten tag were quickly
crushed by the formidable Warriors.
The visitors arrived at Central Park
full of confidence after winning their two opening Super League games but
their aspirations were soon in tatters.
John Monie's boys are getting better with every match and they were
again in devastating mood and completely outclassed the Blue Sox.
Inspired by the brilliance of Tony Smith and Andy Farrell the Warriors
produced flowing rugby and had the speed and power which Halifax could do
little to contain.
It left Monie a contented coach: "I gave them a blast at half-time
about letting in the try but I was happy overall with our defence. We
defended a lot of sets of six inside our 20 and the defence was
"I felt if we tackled well in the middle of the park and stopped their
big guys, they didn't have the players to break us on the edges and that
was how it worked.
"We played some good foootball. A couple of our tries looked easy but
we worked hard to get into those situations." Such was Wigan's second-half
dominance that Monie was able to experiment by switching players around.
"I wanted to see how we operate without Smith and Farrell. I wanted
other people to take responsibility," he added.
The changes restricted Wigan's final points tally but few would have
complained after witnessing another awesome display.
Halifax started strongly, with former Wigan powerhouse Kelvin Skerrett
and Karl Harrison providing a formidable front-row, but the lack of
mobility of the veterans worked in the Warriors' favour.
Mark Bell, back after a hamstring strain, scored his first Super League
try in the seventh minute, before the energetic Denis Betts burst through
to grab a second. Halifax hit back when Damian Gibson slipped over and
Chris Chester goaled, but two minutes before the break man-of-the-match
Gary Connolly produced an electric turn of pace to score an excellent
individual try. Farrell tagged on his third conversion.
The Warriors had a storming start to the second-half and within three
minutes Robbie McCormack shrugged off a high tackle before getting the
ball out for Kris Radlinski to score.
Three minutes later and Smith shot through a gap to grab a touchdown
before McCormack burrowed his way over in the 55th minute. Farrell added
three goals and then in the 60th minute the loose-forward broke through
before chipping ahead for Connolly to win the race for the ball.
With victory assured It was all change and that restricted Wigan's
They have only one game remaining, at home to London next Sunday
evening, before the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley but Monie could not
have wished for a better run-in to the big game.
Wigan:- Radlinski, Bell, Connolly, Moore, Robinson,
Paul, Smith, Mestrov, McCormack, O'Connor, Cassidy, Betts, Farrell.
Subs:- Holgate, Haughton, Gilmour, Cowie
Tries: Bell, Betts, Connolly(3), Radlinski, Smith
Goals: Farrell 6
Halifax:- Pearson, Tuigali, Bouveng, Gibson,
Powell, Moana, Chester, Harrison, Rowley, Skerrett, Mercer, Clarke,
Subs:- O'Loughlin, Gillespie, Marshall, Hobson.