Tomkins leads a Warrior rampage

Wigan 40 Hull KR 6
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The Independent Online

Hat-tricks from Sam Tomkins and Pat Richards highlighted a clinical Wigan display to maintain their pressure on Warrington and Huddersfield at the top of Super League.

Tomkins' trio were a particularly glittering collection, especially from a player who was knocked out eight days earlier and whose place was in doubt during the week. As it turned out, all the headaches were Rovers'.

Wigan's coach Michael Maguire got around his problem of too many half-backs by pairing Brett Finch with Paul Deacon and shunting Thomas Leuluai to hooker.

Despite his misadventures at Bradford, there was nothing tentative about the way Tomkins (left) – himself a converted half-back – started, taking a pass from Finch, bursting through a gap, throwing a dummy to the outside and plunging for the line – all inside the first minute.

Eight minutes later Finch directed the telling pass to George Carmont that enabled Richards to score.

Rovers dominated territorially for much of the half, with former Wigan scrum-half Michael Dobson leading the probing. The Warriors' defence held firm, though, with Leuluai's try-saving tackle on Blake Green superb.

But they finally cracked near half-time, Green kicking down the wing for Ben Cockayne, with Kris Welham in support to touch down. But Shaun Briscoe let the kick-off run dead and Richards was given a soft try.

The Robins also held their own after the break, until Josh Charnley's break forced a penalty and, from that pressure, Tomkins beat five men on a diagonal run to score again. From then on, there was only one winner.

Typically, Maguire later preferred to laud the defensive team-work that kept Rovers at bay but. While his opposite number Justin Morgan pointed to doubts over two tries, he admitted: "When you play a team like Wigan, you have to handle adversity better than we did."

Wigan S Tomkins; Charnley, J Tomkins, Carmont, Richards; Finch, Deacon; Coley, Leuluai, Mossop, Hansen, Hoffman, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used Prescott, Tuson, McIlorum, O'Loughlin.

Hull KR Briscoe; Fox, Webster, Welham, Cockayne; Green, Dobson; Vella, Hodgson, Wheeldon, Lovegrove, Galea, Murrell. Substitutes used Fisher, Cook, Clinton, Netherton.

Referee P Bentham (Warrington).