Departing Betts signs off in romp

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The Independent Online
Wigan 50

Warrington 20

The two players Wigan are about to lose to the Auckland Warriors showed how much they will be missed as they set their side on the way to the final of the Premiership and closer to a clean sweep of all the domestic trophies.

Denis Betts, signed off in his last match at Central Park with a try in a typically powerful performance until he went off injured with a sprained ankle while Frano Botica kicked nine goals.

It was a player who confirmed yesterday that he is staying with Wigan, however, who began what was eventually a comfortable romp. Shaun Edwards agreed a new, improved contract and celebrated with the opening try soon to be followed by Bett's farewell effort.

With Kelvin Skerrett and Neil Cowie tearing holes in the Warrington defence it was surprising that Wigan did not improve on those two tries before half-time. Instead Warrington held on tenaciously and got a try of their own through Bruce McGuire.

They handicapped themselves too heavily, though, by having both Lee Penny and Iestyn Harris sent to the sin-bin and during the 20 minutes they were a man down conceded three more tries, two to Jason Robinson and one to Kris Radlinski whose tackling in the centres had been a feature of Wigan's firm control. Even the sin-binning of Martin Offiah for the refereeing curiosity of deliberate offside failed to stem Wigan's exhibition with Scott Quinnell again showing up well in the pack sending in Gary Connolly.

Warrington claimed late tries from Jonathan Davies, who also landed four goals, and Kelly Shelford separated by a second from Edwards and followed by Offiah's 53rd of the season.

Wigan are now one step away from a unique Grand Slam. On this form they are unlikely to be stopped at the final hurdle at Old Trafford next Sunday.

Wigan: Paul; Robinson, Radlinski, Connolly, Offiah; Botica, Edwards; Skerrett (O'Connor, 52), Hall, Cowie, Betts (Quinnell, 51), Quinnell (Aitcheson, 30), Haughton.

Warrington: Penny; Forster, Harris, Davies, Rudd; Shelford, Mackey; Sanderson (Elliott, 36), Thursfield (Bennett, 65), Tees, McGuire, Elliott (Sculthorpe, 27), Wainwright.

Referee: D Campbell (Widnes).