Rugby League: Smith inspires 10-try Wigan

Click to follow
The Independent Online

As the Super League resumed after the break for the World Club Championship Tony Smith, Wigan's scrum-half, enhanced his claims for a Great Britain place as he grabbed five tries in Wigan's 58-2 demolition of Sheffield Eagles at Central Park yesterday.

Andy Johnson set the ball rolling with two tries inside the first 10 minutes and the Eagles never recovered from that. Smith powered his way over for two touchdowns before the break to give Wigan a commanding half- time lead of 24-2.

Eric Hughes' side, including former Great Britain Academy hooker Ian Talbot on his debut, were able to relax and turn on the style which saw them add another five tries.

Smith and Jason Robinson grabbed two tries each and Kris Radlinkski added another before Smith completed the rout. Sheffield's only points came from Mark Aston's first-half penalty.

Eric Hughes, the Wigan coach, said: "That was just the sort of victory we needed to keep our domestic roll going. It's important that we maintain our momentum to be fully prepared for the Australians coming over here next month."

St Helens, down to 10 men after the 13th-minute dismissal of Vila Matautia for throwing a punch in a melee that also saw Oldham's John Clarke sin- binned, staged a resounding second-half fightback to win 34-30, only their second victory in nine games.

The home side looked in a good position when they made their one-man advantage pay to take an 18-16 lead, only for the Saints to score 12 unanswered points before a late Oldham rally.

Danny Arnold scored a hat-trick of tries for the visitors, with Keiron Cunningham (twice) and Ian Pickavance also going over and Sean Long landing five goals.

The Oldham centre Vince Fawcett also grabbed a hat-trick of touchdowns, with Paul Atcheson and John Clarke adding one apiece and Luke Goodwin was successful with five goals.

It was a bad tempered contest, with the Oldham forward Gary Lord also sent off following an incident with Paul Newlove while St Helens' Derek McVey and Oldham's Martin Crompton were placed on report for separate incidents.

London Broncos maintained their push for a top-four place with a 17-10 victory over Castleford at The Stoop.

Ian Higgins' debut try on the hour proving to be the difference between the two teams as London struggled to shake off the lethargy caused by their return from Australia earlier this week.

Tulsen Tollett, Matt Dunford and Ian Higgins also touched down for the Broncos, with Terry Matterson adding a drop goal.

The visitors replied with tries by Jason Liddle, Jason Roach, a former Bronco, and a Brad Davis conversion.