Wigan in the Wembley way

Oldham 20 Wigan 48

IT SAYS much about the standards that Wigan have set for themselves over the seven years that they have dominated the Silk Cut Challenge Cup that yesterday's victory over Oldham at Huddersfield left them feeling profoundly dissatisfied.

Despite easing to a clear-cut win that was never in any doubt, Wigan rarely touched the heights of which they are capable. They dropped more passes than they usually do in half a dozen matches while their defence was not its usual miserly self.

To have won by the margin they did shows just how far they are ahead of the game. "They were lucky we didn't play well," was one of the least self-critical comments in the Wigan dressing room afterwards.

Perhaps the truth of the matter was that despite their 16 points in the second half, Oldham were simply not good enough to bring out the best in Wigan.

The general expectation of the way the game was destined to go was summed up by the way a small army of photographers moved to the end Wigan were attacking when the teams turned round for the kick-off.

They did not have long to wait. Denis Betts strode through some weak tackling after only eight minutes and, despite the determined Adrian Belle hitting back quickly with a try for Oldham, the pattern of the match was set.

Quite apart from some poor defence, Oldham's tendency to give away far too many penalties put them under continuous pressure. Wigan were bound to take advantage and they did so with tries from Gary Connolly, Shaun Edwards and a powerful solo effort down the right flank, from the admirable Betts.

The match was effectively over and Wigan had booked their eighth successive Wembley trip, but Va'aiga Tuigamala removed any residual doubt by going in for the first of his two tries, despite a trip by David Stephenson that saw the Oldham hooker placed on report.

Connolly, whose outstanding display won him the man-of-the- match award, completed a hat-trick, including a spectacular third try that took him 60 yards down the touchline.

Tuigamala's clever dummy brought another try and Barrie-Jon Mather raced away untouched for one in the last minute, Frano Botica contributing the last of his six goals.

But Oldham maintained a level of aggression, and Wigan's defence was always vulnerable enough to give them some encouragement. They turned it into points with Ian Sherratt's barge over the line and with a well- taken second from Belle, but the side that last beat Wigan in the Challenge Cup eight years ago were no match for a team even below their mighty best.

Oldham: Gibson; Belle, Topping, Abram, Ranson (Bradbury, 32); Marsh, Crompton; Sherratt (Richards, 34, Sherratt, 55), Stephenson, Temu (Richards, 71) Lord, Faimalo, Kuiti.

Wigan: Paul; Robinson, Tuigamala, Connolly, Offiah (Mather, 25); Botica, Edwards; Skerrett (Farrell, 34), Hall, Cowie, Betts, Cassidy, Clarke.

Referee: R. Smith (Castleford)

Voices
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond delivers his speech at the Scottish National Party (SNP) Spring Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland April 12, 2014.
voices
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
weird newsMan live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
Sport
Oliver Giroud kisses the Arsenal badge after giving the Gunners the lead
sportArsenal 3 West Ham 1: Two goals from the German striker and one piece of brilliance from Giroud puts the Gunners back above Everton
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
weird news
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
filmAs 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star James Dean perfected his moody act
News
Obesity surgery in rats has been found to change the way the body processes alcohol
news
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
artThe Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
Life & Style
US Airways has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it responded to customer complaints with a graphic sexual image
techUS Airways takes an interesting approach to customer service
Arts & Entertainment
Philip Arditti as Yossarian and Christopher Price as Milo Minderbinder in Northern Stage's 'Catch-22'
theatre
Arts & Entertainment
The Purple Wedding: Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell tie the knot
TV The second episode of the hit series featured a surprise for viewers
Life & Style
Back to nature: women with body issues have found naked yoga sessions therapeutic
lifeDoing poses in the altogether is already big in the US, and now it’s landed here – in mixed classes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Move from Audit to Advisory

£45000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Move from Audit to Advisor...

Management Consultancy - Operational Research Analysts

£35000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: You must ...

Secondary Teaching Assistant

£60 - £70 per day: AER Teachers: THE SCHOOL: This outstanding Secondary School...

Application Support Analyst (MS SQL, java based webserver, batch scripting)

£36000 - £40000 Per Annum On call allowance.: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?