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
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
"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 scoring opportunities.
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.