Wakefield 40 Wigan 14: Rooney adds to Wigan woe

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The Independent Online

Wigan's relegation fears deepened after they were soundly beaten in this bottom-of-the-table match at Belle Vue last night as Wakefield avenged their Challenge Cup defeat five days earlier in resounding style.

Wigan have now lost five league games in a row for the first time in 25 years and, facing a Good Friday trip to their old enemies, St Helens, it could get worse before it gets better. On this evidence they face a struggle to stay up, something that would have been unthinkable not too long ago.

Smarting from losing a 22-6 lead in the Cup tie Wakefield again started well but this time never looked like letting the game slip as they ended a run of five losses. David Solomona, who Wigan tried to sign in the week, ripped holes in Wigan's defence as he led a dominant pack that allowed the elegant Jamie Rooney to direct a hungry back-line.

The Wildcats, in front through Michael Korkidas's try, created by Solomona, after only 90 seconds, were 18-0 ahead by 10 minutes and were out of sight, 32-6, at half-time. Rooney, Colum Halpenny, Jon Whittle and Jason Demetriou scored tries with Rooney adding six first-half goals. Wigan sole response was Brett Dallas' try, his 100th for the club.

Dallas added a second and Kevin Brown later went over but Wigan's dire first half left them with too much to do. Wakefield sealed their win on the hour when Sam Obst ran from inside his own half to punish another Wigan handling error.

Wakefield: Halpenny; Buchanan, Demetriou, Whittle, Tadulala; Rooney, Jeffries; Macgillivray, Obst, Korkidas, Elima, Solomona, Betham. Substitutes used: Griffin, Field, White, Catic.

Wigan: Dallas; Calderwood, Vaealiki, Brown, Richards; Goulding, Moran; Seu Seu, Higham, Hargreaves, Tickle, Jonkers, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Orr, Wilkes, Tomkins, James.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).