AAP Rugby

Wigan thrash Catalans in Super 8s opener

By AAP Newswire

Warrington coach Steve Price downplayed the significance of his side's 56-6 Super 8s mauling of Catalans ahead of a rematch in the Challenge Cup final.

Counterpart Steve McNamara fielded a weakened line-up for the opening round clash at Halliwell Jones Stadium following their Challenge Cup semi-final victory over St Helens last weekend, a fact acknowledged by Price.

"I fully understand that Catalans had to rest some players, as we did," he said.

"It will be a totally different story when we meet again in the Challenge Cup."

Wing Tom Lineham scored a hat-trick as the Wolves racked up their biggest league win of the season.

McNamara defended his team selection as he focuses on Wembley's showpiece clash on August 25.

"Given the intensity of the semi-final last week it was the right thing for us to do.

"There was a big gulf in class between the two teams, we had two players out there who played for France Under-19s in Serbia earlier this week."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane praised veteran fullback Sam Tomkins, who shrugged off a migraine to slot a crucial late penalty as the Warriors withstood a Castleford comeback to win 24-22 after leading 20-0 at halftime.

"Bringing Sam back on changed the game, the doctors did a great job getting him back on," Wane said.

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook claimed his team's 16-12 Super 8s defeat by Huddersfield was a legacy of their Challenge Cup exit.

The Super League leaders began as they left off in the semi-final against Catalans Dragons last Sunday, falling 16-0 behind to a lively Giants outfit, and, although they rallied in the final hour, it was not enough to stave off another shock defeat.

"There were too many tired bodies, too many guys couldn't get up for it," Holbrook said.

He admitted too many of his personnel were off their best, including Ben Barba who dropped a high kick in the lead-up to two Huddersfield tries.

The Australian is the subject of renewed speculation over his future and Holbrook hinted that a decision could be made in the next fortnight.

"I know the club is looking at all that stuff at the moment and in the next couple of weeks we'll know how it's going," he said.

Wakefield racked up 24 points in the final quarter to brush aside Hull FC 31-13 in the other Super 8s clash.

Meanwhile, Hull KR coach Tim Sheens admitted his side faced a must-win clash against the Wolfpack in Toronto after Salford prevailed 28-10 in their Super 8s qualifier.

Tim Sheens admits Hull KR face a must-win game against Championship table-toppers Toronto in Canada next week after falling to a 28-10 defeat to Salford in their Super 8s qualifier.