Super League: Wigan Warriors 58-12 Salford Red Devils

Bevan French
Bevan French took his try tally to 15 with a second hat-trick in Wigan colours
Betfred Super League
Wigan (30) 58
Tries: Powell 2, Farrell 2, French 3, Hastings, Gildart 2 Goals: Hardaker 9
Salford (6) 12
Tries: Watkins, Lolohea Goals: Inu 2

Bevan French scored a hat-trick as Wigan cemented their claims for a Grand Final spot with a thrashing of last season's finalists Salford.

Sam Powell and French both scored twice along with Liam Farrell in a one-sided first half, while Kallum Watkins replied for the Red Devils.

Tui Lolohea crossed to reduce arrears but Jackson Hastings, Oliver Gildart and Farrell tries added to the rout.

French notched his third and Gildart a second as Wigan capped an emphatic win.

The Cherry and Whites stay second, taking their win percentage to 73.3%.

French's devastating individual display was a key hallmark of the performance of Adrian Lam's side, as Wigan showed a ruthlessness to blow the Red Devils away.

French's footwork, pace and skill carved open spaces, which brought two superb tries from deep, and his vision also led to scores for Hastings and Gildart.

Powell had earlier crashed in for two scores from dummy-half after good work by the pack, setting a platform for the glut of points to come.

Ian Watson's Salford came into this game on the back of their Challenge Cup final defeat by Leeds last weekend, and they were never given a chance to bounce back.

They have made a habit of coming from behind in games, notably on their way to Wembley, but left themselves far too much to do following the whirlwind Wigan start.

They had to reshuffle with Olly Ashall-Bott going off for a head injury assessment, and Mark Flanagan also went off as the defeat proved an increasingly costly one.

Wigan boss Adrian Lam:

"Bevan French's been unbelievable for us and he's only going to get better if we can keep him here next year.

"We're doing our best to keep him. It's well known that he's getting a few bites from the NRL but it's not a done deal and be reassured we've left no stone unturned. I talk to Bevan every day and that will continue.

"We're working hard as a club to make sure he gets what he wants but at the end of the day it's Bevan who has to make that decision."

"Tonight I thought we were outstanding. I'm really pleased for fans and the players. It was probably our first 80-minute performance of the year. That was the goal of the week.

"I thought we started the game great, the forward pack certainly created the platform for us to perform like that."

Salford coach Ian Watson:

"We just came up against an energetic and enthusiastic team. We looked spent. I thought we looked flat in training. To come down from such a massive high is something our players are not used to and we're not lucky enough to be able to rest players.

"We've said the performance was not good enough and we don't want to make excuses but we have no back up for middles, who are having to play two games a week.

"Wigan were fresh and ready to go and I thought they were really good. They put us under pressure and we lacked energy and leadership, which is probably down to the fatigue factor."

Wigan: French; Bibby, Hardaker, Gildart, Burgess; Leuluai, Hastings; Bullock, Powell, Singleton, Isa, Farrell, Partington

Interchanges: Flower, Greenwood, Clubb, Smithies

Salford: Ashall-Bott; Williams, Watkins, Kear, Inu; Lolohea, Atkin; Mossop, Lussick, Yates, Roberts, Greenwood, McCarthy

Interchanges: Ackers, Flanagan, Burke, Pauli

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