Wigan 36 Huddersfield 20: Moran imagination helps Wigan to show old flair

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With the blue and white half of Wigan preparing for a trip to watch the Latics in the Carling Cup final in Cardiff tomorrow, their rugby league counterparts cast aside their disappointing start to the season last night, earning their first league win in three attempts in emphatic fashion on a bitterly cold evening at the JJB Stadium.

Wigan's dominant start banished any fears about them suffering a worst start to the season for 21 years as they built a 30-0 lead with five slickly created tries. "We deserved the win and were really exciting in the first half," said Ian Millward, the Wigan coach. "We have been improving week by week and tonight the players got their rewards."

The teenage prospect Chris Ashton opened the scoring in only the fourth minute, arcing through a flimsy defence and Kevin Brown went over three minutes later after a superb run and kick by Dennis Moran.

Wigan turned the screw when Harrison Hansen collected Brown's pass to crash over on the left before Iafeta Paleaaesina ploughed through three tackles for a fourth try. Slick hands by Moran and the supporting Ashton then created a walk-in for Brett Dallas by the corner flag, Danny Tickle kicking all five conversions.

Just before half-time, Chris Nero got Huddersfield off the mark from Chris Thorman's fine pass but Thorman could not convert. When James Evans got the decisive touch to a March grubber-kick three minutes after the re-start Huddersfield had visions of a comeback. But Wigan defended well then took advantage when March was sin-binned for ripping the ball away in a tackle.

Wayne Godwin scored under the posts with Moran the architect, leaving tries by Albert Torrens and Michael De Vere as consolation for Huddersfield. "It was disappointing they had to get 30 points up before we had a crack," said Huddersfield coach Jon Sharp.

Wigan: Ashton; Calderwood, Richards, Vaealiki, Dallas; Brown, Moran; Seuseu, Godwin, Paleaaesina, Hansen, Tickle, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Logan, Hargreaves, Higham, Tomkins.

Huddersfield: Reilly; Aspinwall, Evans, Torrens, De Vere; Thorman, Paul; Crabtree, March, McDonald, Smith, Jones, Wild. Substitutes used: Drew, Nero, Snitch, Jackson.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).

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