© Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved
Friday 14th March 2014, 20:00 - Round:5
Hull Kingston Rovers
|Iain Thornley 3, Matty Bowen, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower,||T||Jamie Langley, Liam Salter, Kris Welham, Ben Cockayne,|
Matty Smith 5,
Travis Burns 2,
Attendance: 12,801 Official: R Silverwood Venue: DW Stadium
A hat-trick of tries from centre Iain Thornley helped Wigan Warriors to their second win of the 2014 First Utility Super League season but it was another below-par performance from the champions.
Hull KR led 16-8 midway through the first half but they eventually ran out of steam and a 34-20 defeat leaves them still waiting for their first win of the season.
The Warriors clearly missed their injury-plagued skipper Sean O'Loughlin, who failed a late fitness test, and the suspended Michael McIlorum, and coach Shaun Wane will be bitterly disappointed by a further demonstration of his side's defensive frailty after demanding an improvement on their 36-31 defeat at Castleford Tigers.
Wigan have now won 13 consecutive games against the Robins but they will need to up their game when they meet Warrington Wolves in a Grand-Final re-match next Thursday.
It had earlier looked a formality for the champions after scoring two tries in the first eight minutes, including a spectacular long-range effort from full-back Matty Bowen.
Thornley opened the scoring with his first try, finishing off some neat handling from half-backs Blake Green and Matty Smith, and Bowen doubled the Warriors' lead when he took Travis Burns' high kick five metres from his own line and, after sprinting through a fragmented defence, held off Rovers' debutant winger Ade Gardner for an opportunist score.
Smith was off target with both conversion attempts and Wigan found themselves trailing after Rovers hit them with three tries in 14 minutes.
Kris Keating's pinpoint pass got loose forward Jamie Langley striding through a gap for his first try for the club, right centre Liam Salter stretched out of Joe Burgess' tackle to touch down and left centre Kris Welham used a clear overlap to cross at the other corner.
Burns' second goal put the Robins into a 16-8 lead and, although Thornley burst through for a second try on 30 minutes and Smith kicked his first goal, the visitors exposed more defensive deficiencies to work winger Ben Cockayne over for a fourth try six minutes before the break.
Josh Charnley was denied a try on his 100th start for the club on the stroke of half-time due to obstruction but Wigan drew level three minutes into the second half when clever work from Green freed Burgess for a run down the wing and second rower Liam Farrell was on his inside to finish off the move.
And the champions were back in front after 64 minutes when they ran the ball on the last tackle and prop Ben Flower took Smith's short pass to go over for their fifth try.
Hull KR had a try from Graeme Horne disallowed for a forward pass but they were clearly second best in the final quarter as Wigan gradually began to find their rhythm.
Smith put two scores between the teams with a penalty and Thornley touched down Green's delicate kick to complete his hat-trick four minutes from the end, with Smith adding the extras once more.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals