The cloud of gloom hanging over Wigan for the past couple of months was
quickly blown away when the champions launched their Super League
The exit from the Challenge Cup coupled with the corruption
allegations levelled at the chairman has made the short close season an
unhappy time at Central Park.
But the Riversiders know the best way to put all that behind them is by
their performances on the field and they responded in true Wigan fashion.
As Edwards explained: "As team captain I said there were a lot of
negative vibes and we had to go out and make a statement to the rest of
the league. I think we have done that. But one game is no good, we have to
keep it up."
Coach Graeme West was delighted with the way his side had responded
saying: "At the end of last season we had a couple of below par
performances and I wasn't happy with them last week, but this has been
fantastic. A great team performance and although we have been worried
about the defence, tonight it was superb.
"There has been so much trouble talked about Wigan rugby but the
players and officials are behind Jack Robinson and we wanted to go out and
put the record straight."
The Super League may be a knew competition but the script was just the
same with a magnificent Wigan display matched by an equally dire Oldham
one, making the Boundary Park experience an embarrassingly one sided
affair on Saturday evening.
Skipper Shaun Edwards marshalled his troops superbly, while Andy
Farrell was a tower of strength in the pack. Wigan were far superior than
Oldham having the pace in the backs and the power in the forwards, making
a mockery of their below-par performance which ended in defeat at
Watersheddings last season.
Nothing went right for Oldham even down to the action replay after five
minutes when Scott Quinnell clearly knocked on before Martin Offiah
touched down, but the try was given.
Fortunately that had little bearing on the final result as Wigan were
in a different class. They led 36-0 at the break and although the Bears
rallied with tries from Darren Abram, Rob Myler and Francis Maloney, who
also kicked two conversions, Wigan replied with an 11 try romp.
Gary Connolly crossed for a hat-trick of tries, with Edwards, Offiah
and Kris Radlinski getting two each and one for Henry Paul and Martin
Hall. Farrell added six goals.
WIGAN: Radlinski, Robinson, Tuigamala, Connolly, Offiah, Paul, Edwards,
Cowie, Hall, O'Connor, Cassidy, Quinnell, Farrell. Subs: Smyth (for
Tuigamala 55), Haughton (for Quinnell 27), Skerrett (for O'Connor 27),
Johnson (for Paul 66), Quinnell (for Skerrett 75).