Wigan Warriors eased past local rivals Leigh Centurions 20-0 at the DW Stadium on Friday night.
The home side opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Anthony Gelling pounced on a bouncing George Williams kick to run underneath the sticks. Morgan Escare converted to put his side 6-0 up.
Leigh soon clicked into gear and had a couple of chances near the try-line but poor plays and stern Warriors defence managed to keep them out.
England star Joe Burgess was forced to leave the field on the half-hour mark, with Willie Isa dropping in at centre for the rest of the game.
Wigan won a penalty in the 37th minute for lying on but Escare’s 40-metre effort went just wide of the mark.
The Warriors missed two drop-goal attempts missed late on through Sean O’Loughlin and Escare but still went in 6-0 at the break.
Wigan winger Lewis Tierney failed to come back out for the second-half with the Scotland international struggling to cope with a knee injury so Wigan only had 15 fit players available for the remainder of the match.
The numbers didn’t affect the Warriors though as Williams danced through the Centurions defence to score. Escare made the score 12-0 with the conversion after 48 minutes.
Shaun Wane’s men were further hindered midway through the second-half as forward Ryan Sutton left the field for a concussion assessment which left Wigan with just one sub.
France ace Escare added a penalty goal for Wigan after Leigh forward Gareth Hock, who made his first appearance back at the DW against his former club, committed a high tackle on Frank-Paul Nuuausala.
In the next set Wigan were in for another as Williams’ punt bounced perfectly for Cook Islands international Gelling to latch onto and go over for his second. Escare’s touchline conversion put Wigan 20-0 to the good.
Neil Jukes’ Leigh outfit did not really have a chance in the second-half owing partly to very good Wigan defence and poor handling from the Centurions.
The away side tried to get over the line in the latter stages of the game but Wigan’s defence barrier stood strong.