18th August 2017, 22:43 | Wigan
Wigan Warriors warmed up for next week's Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final with an eight-try demolition of Salford Red Devils to keep them in the hunt for a top-four place in the Super 8s.
The Warriors produced one of their best halves of rugby for some time as they led 26-0 at the break with Joe Burgess scoring twice and Sean O’Loughlin, Liam Farrell and Sam Powell also getting in on the act as they outplayed Salford for 40 minutes.
Tries from George Williams and Frank-Paul Nuuausala saw the Warriors lead 38-0 and it was game over by the 54th minute, although Salford did grab a consolation through Niall Evalds before Liam Marshall got his name on the scoresheet to secure a 42-6 success.
Leeds Rhinos' victory over St Helens meant champions Wigan ended the night level on points with their bitter rivals and just one behind fourth-placed Wakefield Trinity.
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane said: "We won't get carried away. Salford were a bit busted and a lot of things went our way but very happy to get the win.
"I was happy with a lot of things we did, having a decent lead at half-time and it can be hard to stay mentally focused but we finished sets in the areas we wanted.
"We were quite patient and that was the most pleasing thing."
Asked when Wigan last played as well as that, Wane replied: "A few years I would say, a good few years. In terms that nothing aggravated me."
Another good 2️⃣points tonight for us . Even better having my best mate back off her holidays to cheer us on 🔴👨👧⚪️ pic.twitter.com/yFs0JGPU9Z— John Bateman (@johnbateman1) August 18, 2017
Salford head coach Ian Watson said: "We had a little bit of possession on their tryline at the start and we probably needed to just take a couple of points there to try and turn the tide.
"It would have given us a foothold in the game, but we didn't and they marched us the full length.
"I thought their middles were outstanding. They absolutely dominated us to be fair. We have not done ourselves any favours by putting in that kind of performance.
"I think we met Wigan on a good day. What we wanted to do was rectify the semi-final defeat but they were just too good for us."