Super League: Wigan Warriors 48-4 Widnes Vikings
Wigan Warriors (32) 48
- Tries: L Farrell 2, Charnley 5, O'Loughlin, C Farrell
- Goals: Smith 6
Widnes Vikings (4) 4
- Try: Flynn
Josh Charnley scored five tries on his return after two months out injured as Wigan Warriors hammered Widnes to go top of the Super League table.
On the night Wigan announced the return of Joel Tomkins from rugby union side Saracens, Charnley also passed the milestone of 100 Super League tries.
Liam Farrell added two more, and younger brother Connor crossed on his first-team debut for the Warriors.
Captain Sean O'Loughlin was their other scorer in a dominant display.
The fixture was due to be played in February but was moved because of Wigan's involvement in the World Club Challenge.
Shaun Wane's side, the defending Super League champions, began the season slowly but have won five of their past six league matches to leapfrog St Helens and Leeds Rhinos.
Widnes, who were thrashed at home by Hull FC in their last outing, were on the end of another heavy defeat that leaves them eighth in the table and three points inside the play-off spots.
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane
“We're top of the table and we've signed Joel back so I'm in a good mood”
Wigan scored their first try inside a minute as second-rower Liam Farrell raced in from 60 metres, but Paddy Flynn replied for Widnes after a prolonged spell of pressure.
The home side took control as Charnley latched onto Dan Sarginson's kick to score, before Matty Smith and Joe Burgess combined to set up captain O'Loughlin.
Charnley went over in the corner for his second and claimed a high kick above Patrick Ah Van to complete his hat-trick, taking him to his century, before adding a fourth shortly before the interval to put the result beyond doubt.
After Tomkins was re-introduced to the Wigan fans at the break, Charnley and both Farrell brothers sealed Wigan's comfortable nine-try victory.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane:
"We're in a pretty good place. We had two debuts today [Connor Farrell and Callum Wright], we're top of the table and we've signed Joel back so I'm in a good mood.
"I'm pleased Connor got over. I thought they both went really well so we had two good debuts and there will be more before the season is out.
"Josh is a confident lad and we have good memories of how he can score, but I was also impressed how he did the tough stuff at the other end of the field."
Widnes coach Denis Betts:
"To be brutally honest, Wigan were fantastic. They were red-hot at times.
"They are a clinical and skilful side and they jumped on our mistakes.
"I was disappointed with some of our one-tackle stuff. We work really hard to get some field position and then switch off for one play and you're behind your posts. It's about that learning curve we're on."
Wigan Warriors: Sarginson; Charnley, Goulding, Gelling, Burgess; S Powell, Smith; Flower, McIlorum, Taylor, L Farrell, Bateman, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Dudson, C Farrell, James, Wright.
Widnes Vikings: Owens; Ah Van, Craven, Phelps, Flynn; Brown, Gore; Clough, Clarke, Gerrard, Galea, Tickle, Cahill.
Replacements: Isa, Leuluai, Allen, White.
Referee: James Child