Wigan Warriors 60 v 12 Salford City Reds
Sunday 1st April 2012
Co-Operative Community Stadium, Orrell
Wigan began their Valvoline Academy campaign by thrashing Salford City Reds 60-12 on Sunday afternoon.
Stand-out displays from Lewis Tierney, the half-back combination of George Williams and Ryan Hampshire, and free-scoring Joe Burgess meant the result of this game was never in any doubt.
The Warriors onslaught began when Burgess crossed in the eighth minute on his way to completing a first half hat-trick. Strong-running Lewis Tierney sent a perfectly timed pass to his winger for the try, and Wigan continued in this fashion for the next 20 minutes on their way to building a 34-0 lead.
Next up was centre, Josh Rooney, who capitalised on the chance given by Salford who couldn't hang on to a George Williams kick, granting the Warriors a new set of 6, of which only one play was needed to score the try.
Burgess scored his second on the 20th minute, before opposite winger and Wigan St. Cuthbert's product, Mike Scrivens, raced around the defence to score having had a run cut short by the whistle for a forward pass in the minutes before.
The City Reds couldn't get their hands on the ball to compete with the strong running of Wigan's pack, and it was Chris Rowe over for Wigan's fifth as he strode over with enough space to improve the angle for Ryan Hampshire's fourth conversion.
Straight from the kick off, Burgess completed his hat-trick just before the half-hour with a superb 80-metre try - the pick of a generous bunch. The big winger had confidence in his own pace to round his opposite number before luring the Salford full-back into accepting a dummy to Callum Wright. From here, he had 30 metres to run unopposed and wrap-up Wigan's first half's scoring.
The visitors had the final say in the first half with an intercept try from 30 metres out, but it did nothing to disrupt the flow of the game as Wigan took control of the second half as they had the first.
George Williams was first over after combining brilliantly with his stand-off, Ryan Hampshire, and Burgess claimed his fourth shortly after when a simple sequence of passing along the attacking line was enough to create the try.
On the hour mark, Salford looked to have forced an error from Lewis Tierney as he let a kick slip past him in the in-goal area, but he recovered not only to avoid a goal line drop-out, but to sprint 90 metres with gritted teeth, with only a fantastic cover tackle denying him four pointer he probably deserved for his overall display.
It was of little consequence to the Wigan cause, however, as a quick play the ball and good support play ensured Rowe would cross for his second before all of the cover defence had made it back to help.
The away side did manage one more try as the game entered the closing stages, but it was swiftly cancelled-out when Ellis Grimes became the sixth of Wigan's try-scorers.
The day belonged to Burgess though, and despite being caught on his way to line for his fifth try, the tackle wasn't effective enough to stop him reaching over to have the final word.
Wigan Warriors: Lewis Tierney, Mike Scrivens, Ellis Grimes, Josh Rooney, Joe Burgess, Ryan Hampshire, George Williams, Ben Austin, Jamie Doran, Ryan Sutton, Chris Rowe, Jonny Brown, Callum Wright
Replacements: Sam Brooks, Ryan Lee, Tom Kay, Callum Hughes
Tries:Burgess 5, Rowe 2, Rooney, Scrivens, Williams, Grimes
Goals: Hampshire 8
Referee: P. Marklove
Touch Judges: P. Cromer, M. Griffiths