Charnley's hat-trick routs Rhinos in Warriors cruise

Wigan Warriors 20 Leeds Rhinos 6

DW Stadium

Josh Charnley made Leeds look anything but potential world champions with all three of the tries that kick-started Wigan's season.

The winger scored 27 times in a highly productive first full season last year and he opened his account for 2012 as Wigan made up for their disappointment at losing at home to Huddersfield last weekend.

They took full toll of an unfocused performance from the Rhinos, who may have had this Friday's World Club Challenge against Manly somewhere in the back of their minds.

Their coach, Brian McDermott, denied that fixture was a factor, simply saying "there were too many areas where we came up a bit short."

Leeds face a manpower shortage in the backs for the Manly match, with Kallum Watkins missing this one with a wrist injury and Lee Smith going off with damaged ribs.

All that was of little concern to Charnley, whose tries will have been all the sweeter to him for having been scored down the flank occupied by England's current first choice winger, Ryan Hall. There was no doubt which of them looked international class last night.

Charnley's first touchdown, from a long pass delivered by Sean O'Loughlin, was disallowed for an obstruction in the middle of the field. There were to be no such reprieves when he got his next two chances.

Both tries owed a good deal to the incisive lines of attack run from full-back by Sam Tomkins. In the 16th minute, he arced and straightened to create the overlap, with Darrell Goulding's final pass releasing Charnley.

The second also owed plenty to Leeds' indiscipline. Weller Hauraki, angry with himself for conceding possession, was penalised for his role in instigating a punch-up.

Wigan went straight to the other end, where Tomkins found a similar gap, although Charnley still had plenty to do to score the try.

Pat Richards landed both conversions and a penalty early in the second half when Jamie Peacock went high on Chris Tuson, before Darrell Griffin replied with a close-range effort.

Any prospect of Leeds turning things around disappeared after Charnley made a marvellous 50-metre before receiving the ball back from Goulding after a crossfield move to complete his hat-trick.

Coach, Shaun Wane said: "I gave the players a hard week, but I was 100 per cent sure they would respond," he said. "Leeds came to play and wanted to win. I hope they beat Manly."

Wigan Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Hughes, Richards; Finch, T.Leuluai; Mossop, McIlorum, Flower, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin. Subs used Tuson, Lauaki, Lima, Spencer.

Leeds Webb; Smith, Ablett, Hardaker, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Bailey, Burrow, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Delaney, Hauraki. Subs used K.Leuluai, Clarkson, Griffin, McShane.

Referee T Alibert (France).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own