Wane delighted with Wigan response

Wigan coach Shaun Wane was understandably delighted with his side's big win over Salford

Wigan coach Shaun Wane was understandably delighted with his side's big win over Salford

First published in National Sport News © by

Wigan coach Shaun Wane was thrilled with the way his side responded to their shock defeat at Bradford by producing an eight-try demolition of Salford.

Wane cancelled the players' day off and ordered them in for extra training following their 16-8 loss at the relegated Bulls but on Thursday night rewarded them with a four-day break for trouncing the Red Devils 45-4 at the DW Stadium.

"I'm really proud," Wane said. "It's been a real tough week, probably our toughest and most honest since I've been head coach and they responded well.

"It was a very satisfying win. We wanted to stand up and be aggressive and we were. We were pretty ruthless.

"We have got a lot of young players in our team, a lot of local kids, and they were playing against a team with hand-picked players from all over world.

"Yet we put 40-odd points on them with seven or eight regulars missing so we're in good shape. The players have now got four days off and they've deserved it."

Centre Anthony Gelling put the returning Joel Tomkins in the shade by scoring his first Super League hat-trick but Wane was delighted with the contribution of both players.

Tomkins, who has rejoined his home-town club after a near three-year spell in rugby union, went on as a second-half substitute with his side well in command at 22-0.

"He went well," Wane said. "He didn't have to defend much because we had the ball and scored tries in the period he was on. I think he only made three tackles so I need to check on his defence.

"But with the ball he looked a handful, he's a big athlete.

"I asked the boys to make it a welcome-back performance for him and that's that they did. Some of the tries we scored were really impressive."

Gelling was rested for the game against Bradford and Wane admits his absence could have been a factor behind that defeat.

"I think we missed him last week," he said. "He might have been the difference in that game.

"He was a real handful tonight. He had a couple of errors but, apart from that, he's an unbelievable talent.

"He's been consistent, for many games he's been one of our best players."

Salford had re-ignited their play-off hopes with three consecutive wins but they are now four points behind eighth-placed Widnes with just four games left of the regular season and coach I estyn Harris could not hide his disappointment.

"I don't think we're in a position to be thinking about the top eight," he said. " We just didn't do the things we've been doing for the last seven weeks.

"We didn't work hard for each other. We cut corners and allowed them to play on the front foot so it was only a matter of time before we started to concede points.

"Habits are strange old things, you have to work extremely hard to be consistent. Tonight we chose to have a day off, we didn't do the things we have worked desperately hard to change and we learned a big lesson."

Salford were again without star signing Kevin Locke, the New Zealand international full-back who has played less than two matches since arriving in the country a month ago due to injury.

"Kevin's having some issues with a few niggles," Harris said. "He's got some work to do to be where he needs to be and he's working hard at the moment."

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