Player ratings as Wigan Warriors thrash Hull KR in feisty Challenge Cup semi-final

WIGAN WARRIORS thrashed Hull KR, 38-6, in the first Challenge Cup semi-final of the weekend in front of 11,163 spectators at Doncaster’s Eco-Power Stadium.

The Warriors were awarded an early penalty after KR were found offside and Wigan duly punished Willie Peters’ side. The ball was shifted left and Jake Wardle had enough time to crash past Peta Hiku in just the fourth minute. Harry Smith, however, couldn’t convert as Wigan led 4-0.

And it was the Warriors that hit next on 15 minutes. A brilliant set saw Matt Peet’s men run 80 metres before Bevan French sent up a pinpoint chip for Abbas Miski to grab and dot down in brilliant fashion. This time Smith converted to make it 10-0.

Both sides began making errors, and, it was from a KR error that Wigan grabbed their third. Niall Evalds dropped a towering Smith bomb, and, in the following set, Smith sent over Junior Nsemba who had enough power to ride the challenge of Kelepi Tanginoa on the half-hour. Smith, however, couldn’t convert as Wigan were now 14-0 up.

It was 18-0 with six minutes to go until half-time as Liam Marshall picked up a Joe Burgess error and fed Miski under the posts with six minutes to go in the half. Smith once more couldn’t convert at 18-0 with little sign of Rovers inspiring a comeback.

Two tries in three minutes followed as Wigan broke down their left once more, Wardle feeding Marshall, with the winger kicking back inside perfectly for Smith to pounce. This time Adam Keighran converted to make it 24-0 at half-time.


KR had to score first to have any hopes of inspiring a remarkable second-half comeback. However, a Lewis infringement handed Keighran the chance to add another two points – and the Wigan centre made it count for a 26-0 lead.

Finally, Rovers had their first points of the afternoon on 51 minutes as a Tyrone May kick was palmed back exquisitely by Lewis into the arms of Joe Burgess who sprinted home. Lewis converted from out wide to reduce the deficit to 20 at 26-6.

However, a mix-up between Hall and Lewis saw Wigan’s kick-off bounce out with the Warriors punishing their opponents, Tyler Dupree crashing through soft defence to stem any hopes of a Rovers comeback. Keighran converted for a 32-6 lead.

As if things weren’t bad enough for Rovers, they were reduced to 12 men with 16 minutes to go when Opacic felt aggrieved by a Keighran challenge.

The KR man lashed out at the play-the-ball with both Opacic and Keighran being shown a yellow card by referee Chris Kendall.

That didn’t stem Wigan’s ascendancy, though, and a lovely break and kick from Miski landed to Walters, who passed out wide to Wardle to notch his second. Smith took over the kicking duties once more to make it 38-6.

Lewis didn’t deserve to be on the losing side and his delicious break laid the platform for Burgess to fly in at the corner with five minutes remaining. However, the winger was harshly adjudged to have knocked on as Wigan ran home in emphatic fashion.

Hull KR

2 Niall Evalds – 6
35 Joe Burgess – 4
1 Peta Hiku – 5
3 Tom Opacic – 3
5 Ryan Hall – 5
27 Tyrone May – 5
7 Mikey Lewis – 8
8 Sauaso Sue – 6
9 Jez Litten – 5
16 Jai Whitbread – 5
11 Dean Hadley – 5
12 James Batchelor – 4
13 Elliot Minchella – 5
10 George King – 6
14 Matt Parcell – 6
15 Sam Luckley – 5
20 Kelepi Tanginoa – 7

Tries: Burgess (51)
Goals: Lewis 1/1
Sinbin: Opacic (64) – hitting out

Wigan Warriors
1 Jai Field – 9
2 Abbas Miski – 8
3 Adam Keighran – 6
4 Jake Wardle – 9
5 Liam Marshall – 7
6 Bevan French – 8
7 Harry Smith – 8
8 Ethan Havard – 7
9 Brad O’Neill – 6
16 Luke Thompson – 9
21 Junior Nsemba – 8
12 Liam Farrell – 7
13 Kaide Ellis – 7
15 Patrick Mago – 6
17 Kruise Leeming – 6
19 Tyler Dupree – 7
22 Sam Walters – 6

Tries: Wardle (4), 66, Miski (15, 34), Nsemba (29), Smith (37)
Goals: Smith 2/5, Keighran 3/3
Sinbin: Keighran (64) – hitting out

Half-time: 0-24
Referee: Chris Kendall
Attendance: 11,163

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