Wigan Warriors and Sam Tomkins were in clinical mood as they warmed up for next week’s Challenge Cup semi-final with a comprehensive win over the Wildcats.
Tomkins scored a hat-trick, the last of which was a contender for try of the season, with George Carmont getting a hat-trick of his own and Iain Thornley scoring a brace with second-rowers Gareth Hock and Harrison Hansen each getting over the whitewash.
Wildcats wingers Peter Fox and Ben Cockayne each got over in either half but it was an afternoon that belonged to Wigan and Tomkins.
Richard Agar handed Lee Smith a debut at left centre in the only change to the seventeen that faced Catalans Dragons last time out.
The first moment of indiscipline in the game from the Warriors brough about the first points on four minutes. Sykes kicked Wakefield into Wigan territory and after a strong carry from Kyle Amor, the Wildcats shifted the ball through five pairs of hands with Richard Mathers’ excellent cut-out ball putting Fox in to score.
Trinity came closest to scoring some ten minutes later when loanee Lee Smith fended off one tackle, passed to Cockayne who looked to return the ball but it was around the toes of Smith and he knocked on.
Wigan swooped on the loose ball and less than a minute later Sam Tomkins was under the Wakefield sticks. Chris Tuson broke up the middle and had the England full-back in support to touchdown.
Wakefield were the creators of their own problems and when Oliver Wilkes lost the ball with a loose carry, the Warriors quickly shifted the ball to Iain Thornley who evaded the clutches of Sykes but Mathers covered well to tackle the winger into touch.
But on the back of another penalty the Wildcats had no response to a rampaging Hock. Lee Smith was penalised for ripping the ball loose in the tackle and when Wigan got within striking distance Hock couldn’t be stopped by the attentions of three Wildcats tacklers.
Six minutes from the interval and Wigan were in once again. Hock put Carmont in the clear who slipped through Danny Kirmond and with Gelling in support he opted to take on Mathers but the full-back stood his ground and made a try saving tackle. It was a reprieve that lasted seconds as Sam Tomkins picked up from dummy half and dived over the line.
The Warriors were in unforgiving mood and when Sykes’ attempted ball around the corner to Lee Smith flew into touch, Wigan worked the ball left through from the scrum and Hock offloaded from the tackle to Carmont to get over the whitewash.
It was a familiar story at the start of the second half as on the back of two penalties in quick succession, Wigan went from under pressure on their own line to celebrating a try at the other end.
Matty Smith darted out from dummy half, found O’Loughlin who put Hansen through a big hole to score.
Things looked ominous for a long second period when Thornley went in at the right hand corner and although Cockayne had a try chalked off for a knock-on over the line, it was a brief respite for the Wildcats defence which was breached again by Thornley in the set immediately following Cockayne’s near miss.
When Hock stepped inside Kirmond he looked set to score himself just after the hour mark, but instead he passed to the supporting Carmont who scored his second of the afternoon.
The pick of the afternoon’s tries came when Tomkins completed his hat-trick, chipping over not one but two Wildcats defenders on separate occasions, gathering each on the full to score a fantastic individual score.
Cockayne waltzed in for a consolation score but there was still time for Carmont to complete his hat-trick when he was put clear by another electrifying break from Tomkins.
Mathers, Fox, Kirmond, L. Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T. Smith, Amor, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Walshaw, Washbrook. Replacements: Wood, Wilkes, Trout, Johnson.
Sam Tomkins, Thornley, Goulding, Carmont, Gelling, O’Loughlin, Finch, Flower, Logan Tomkins, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, Tuson. Replacements: Farrell, Lauaki, Crosby, M. Smith.