A 12-man Salford never looked capable of interrupting Wigan's serene progress toward the League Leaders' Trophy.
Anything can happen in the play-offs, but with six regular season fixtures left the Warriors look increasingly likely to qualify in first place. They were helped last night not only by their own confidence and cohesion, typified by the sparkling performance of Sam Tomkins, but also by Salford having to play for almost an hour a man short following the sending-off of Ryan Boyle for a high tackle. "That was pretty much game over," said the Salford coach, Shaun McRae, of the dismissal. "You can't defend for that length of time and Wigan have shown they're the best team in the competition."
After five minutes, Mark Riddell made a telling break for Wigan and Sam Tomkins timed his supporting run perfectly. The younger Tomkins brother was also involved in the second try, looping a pass to give the unmarked Darrell Goulding his 20th of the season.
The third was created by Paul Deacon's kick for Martin Gleeson and Wigan were already out of sight. The last thing Salford needed to do was to handicap themselves further, but that was precisely what they did when Boyle was sent off for a clumsy high tackle on Stuart Fielden. The 12-men hung on for most of what remained of the first half, but conceded tries to Joel Tomkins and George Carmont before the interval.
Sam Tomkins soon claimed his second from Liam Farrell's pass, before Daniel Holdsworth finally got Salford on the scoreboard. Goulding gave another demonstration of his finishing skill by squeezing in at the corner and then claimed his hat-trick
Wigan: S Tomkins; Goulding, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards; Deacon, T Leuluai; Fielden, Riddell, Prescott, Hansen, J Tomkins, Tuson. Substitutes used: Roberts, Farrell, O'Loughlin, Mossop.
Salford: Fitzpatrick; Broughton, Henry, Gibson, Tyrer; M Smith, Holdsworth; Boyle, Alker, P Leuluai, Sibbit, Littler, Swain. Substitutes used: J Smith, Sidlow, Adamson, Parker.
Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield)
*Hull hope to have Richard Horne back in their side to face Wakefield today. The international half-back has been out of action since early in the season with a knee injury, but has come safely through two training sessions this week.
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