Ruthless Wigan achieve revenge

Wigan 46 London 18
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The Independent Online

Wigan Warriors have developed an increasingly ruthless streak since Stuart Raper assumed control at the JJB in mid-May. They moved level on points with Bradford at the top of the Tetley's Super League after dealing a severe blow to London's top five aspirations, avenging an early season defeat at The Valley in the process.

The Warriors have won 11 out of 12 games under former Castleford coach Raper, impressing with their growing defensive resolve and organisation allied to some sublime attacking skills from the midfield trio of Matthew Johns, Adrian Lam and skipper Andy Farrell.

Just as importantly, several Wigan players are in prime form as they approach the play-offs at the business end of the season, including Farrell, who opened the scoring with a try after only 47 seconds.

Tries by Paul Johnson and Kris Radlinski, in an inspired two-minute spell midway through the first half, gave Wigan the initiative after the Broncos had taken an 8-6 lead with a try from Glen Air and two goals from Paul Sykes.

But Johnson stepped out of a tackle and warded off Tony Martin's chase in an impressive 40-metre dash for the line before Radlinski supported Lam's break from inside his own half to race over. When Terry Newton and Lam made the opening for David Furner to crash over, the Warriors, with four Farrell conversions, looked to have the game in the bag.

Wigan survived a severe pounding from the Broncos either side of the interval, Greg Fleming having claims for a try disallowed for offside and Radlinski turning Shane Millard over the line on his back with a marvellous try-saving tackle. Eventually, the Broncos' refreshing enterprise in attack was rewarded when prop Justin Dooley took Dymock's short ball to score a reviving converted try. When Mat Toshack scored the Broncos' third try in the left corner in the 54th minute, they trailed by only six points.

But Radlinski's second try calmed Wigan's anxieties. And the Warriors finished with a flourish as they dominated the final quarter, adding tries by substitute Chris Chester, Steve Renouf and Cassidy, Farrell finishing with seven goals and an 18-point haul.

Wigan: Radlinski; Dallas, P Johnson, Renouf, Carney; Johns, Lam; O'Connor, Newton, Howard, Cassidy, Furner, Farrell (capt). Substitutes used: Cowie, Betts, Chester, Aspinwall.

London: Barnett; Sykes, Fleming, Roy, Martin; Dymock (capt), Moran; Mestrov, Air, Retchless, Toshack, Millard, Parker. Substitutes used: Houles, A Johnson, Dooley, Gillett.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham)