Wigan 38 Bradford 16: Dobson leads Wigan rout with a hat-trick

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The Independent Online

Wigan's season turned around when they brought in Brian Noble as coach, and the way his new team demolished his old one banished any last vestige of the fear of relegation from the JJB Stadium.

Wigan supporters have grown used to seeing Noble's sides well organised in defence. Last night they produced some sparkling attacking rugby in their best display of the season.

Michael Dobson led the way with three tries, remarkably his first for the club, and five goals, but this was an impressive all-round performance.

Wigan had the first chance as Marcus Bai's tackle stopped Michael Dobson. There was no denying them from an even better move after nine minutes, with Chris Ashton scoring from Danny Orr's pass.

Six minutes later, a Mickey Higham break set up an equally good try, Ashton supporting and then moving the scoring pass away to Pat Richards.

Wigan's ability to make clean breaks through the heart of the Bradford defence was in evidence again soon after, Fletcher and Orr setting up Dobson's first try for the club.

Dobson kicked his second goal for a 16-point lead that was preserved by some enthusiastic Wigan defence from the first real assault upon it.

Four minutes before half-time and with that defence under pressure, Wigan came up with their fourth try, Richards intercepting from Paul Deacon and going the length of the field to flatten the Bulls still further.

Two minutes after the break, Michael Withers lost the ball in Wayne Godwin's tackle, and Dobson scooted over for his second. Withers had some consolation when he scored from Karl Pryce's inside pass to record Bradford's first points, but that was only a temporary setback for Wigan, with Godwin going over in reply.

Andy Lynch and Pryce, from an interception, brought Bradford some respectability, but Dobson pounced in the last minute for his hat-trick.

Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, McAvoy, Vaealiki, Richards, Orr, Dobson, Paleaasina, Higham, Fielden, Hock, Fletcher, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Logan, Godwin, Hansen, Tickle.

Bradford: Withers, Vainikolo, Hape, B Harris, Bai, I Harris, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, Lynch, McKenna, Ferres, Langley. Substitutes used: Henderson, Meyers, Burgess, Pryce.

Referee: A Klein (Keighley).

* Leeds consolidated their third position in the Super League table with a comprehensive 54-16 drubbing of Warrington. Among the scorers was Keith Senior, who weighed in with three tries while Kevin Sinfield kicked eight goals.

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