WIGAN leave for Australia today with confidence sky high after rattling up
a fifth successive victory.
Since their disappointing show against
Salford the Warriors have been transformed and struggling Paris were
swatted away with contempt as a late points rush saw them home with ease.
The preparations for Down Under clearly affected their performance,
however, and it was only when the French side hit back just after the
break that Wigan hit top gear.
They had cruised to a 24-8 half-time lead with tries by livewire Tony
Smith, Jason Robinson and Darryl Cardiss with Andy Farrell adding six
goals. But the Warriors relaxed too much allowing Jason Martin, Jason
Eadie and Deon Bird to score and Matthew O'Connor added four goals. Paris
were right back in the game, but any hopes of a shock win were quickly
dashed as Wigan turned on the style with six tries in a dazzling 20
Andy Johnson, Gael Tallec, Radlinski, Smith, Paul Koloi on his debut
and Farrell all crossed with Farrell adding another five goals to equal
the Super League record of 11 in successive games.
Skipper Farrell had another magnificent game but said he was
disappointed that Wigan had leaked in 20 points.
"We are going to Australia and our defence will have to be much better.
But we have come off some good wins and maybe we didn't concentrate as
hard as we should have done. "It has been a hard week with plenty of
distractions because of all the meetings and preparations for the trip."
"We are going over there to test ourselves and the five wins have been
ideal. I wouldn't like to go on the back of a couple of poor displays. It
is looking good for Wigan."
Coach Eric Hughes said it was a good dress rehearsal because Paris
contained so many Australians.
"They had good habits, were tight around the play-the-ball and it was
ideal preparation. We have been lucky with injuries recently and it sets
us up nicely for Australia."
Wigan: Cardiss, Robinson, Connolly, Radlinski, Johnson, Paul,
Smith, Cowie, Hall, Hansen, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Koloi (for
Connolly 39), Tallec (for Cassidy HT), Holgate (for Cowie 50), Lester (for
St Germain 20
|Andy Farrell (11)
||Matt O'Connor (4)