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
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on