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Widnes Vikings 10-64 Wigan Warriors

Widnes (0) 10
Tries: Gardner 2 Goals: Yates

Wigan (36) 64
Tries: Pryce 3, Leuluai, J Tomkins 2, Gleeson 2, O'Loughlin, S Tomkins 3
S Tomkins 2, Riddell 6

Wigan's Sam Tomkins
Tomkins went over for a hat-trick against Widnes

Wigan overwhelmed old rivals Widnes as they eased into the last eight of the Challenge Cup at the Stobart Stadium.

There were hat-tricks from Karl Pryce and Sam Tomkins, whose brother Joel weighed in with two, and there was a brace also for Martin Gleeson.

Four tries in the first 17 minutes set Wigan on their way, the Super League leaders going in 36-0 at the break.

Thomas Leuluai and Sean O'Loughlin also crossed, while Widnes's two tries came from winger Matt Gardner.

The injury-hit Championship side had no match to the attacking invention of a Wigan team inspired by a sparkling performance from England stand-off Tomkins.

He repeatedly unlocked the Vikings defence with his electric pace, as well as kicking Wigan's first two conversions of the night to earn him a 16-point individual haul.

With Super League's top points scorer Pat Richards having been given the night off from kicking duties, Australian hooker Mark Riddell was also given his chance with the boot, finishing with six goals from eight attempts.

But the Rugby Football League may look into circumstances surrounding his first miss on the stroke of half-time, as it appeared a plastic drinks bottle was aimed at him as he took the conversion.

Widnes are the only lower league side to have twice knocked Super League opposition out of the Cup. But, claiming a hat-trick of giant-killings was always going to be a tough ask against a side ranked 18 league positions above them.

Captain Mark Smith, who won a Challenge Cup with Wigan in 2002, was among a host of Vikings ruled out through injury, while Paul Cullen was unable to call on four dual-registration players including Wigan trio Shaun Ainscough, Liam Farrell and Ben Davies.

Wigan coach Michael Maguire took no chances with his team selection, naming a near full-strength line-up with Gleeson, Paul Prescott and Lee Mossop returning to the side that beat Huddersfield 28-10 at Murrayfield last Sunday.

Widnes wasted an early chance to strike first blood when Shane Grady pushed a second-minute penalty wide. And, from then on, it was one-way traffic as Wigan ran in seven unanswered tries before the break.

Pryce, who made a try-scoring return last week, finished off a sweeping move in the sixth minute, Leuluai ghosted through minutes later, then Sam Tomkins' midfield break set up brother Joel before Gleeson marked his return from a calf injury to make it 20-0 before the end of the opening quarter.

Joel Tomkins grabbed his second - again courtesy of the wizardry of younger sibling Sam - in the 23rd minute before Gleeson and Pryce completed the first-half scoring.

Pryce grabbed his hat-trick from Wigan's first attack of the second half, and then O'Loughlin piled on the misery with a try from a charge down.

But Widnes never surrendered, Gardner's two tries sandwiching a quick-fire burst from Sam Tomkins, who grabbed his third try on the stroke of full-time.

Widnes: Ford, Gardner, Kohe-Love, Grady, Flynn, C Gerrard, Webster, Houghton, Thackeray, Kavanagh, Strong, Varkulis, Doran.
Replacements: Hulme, Kelly, Yates, A Gerrard.

Wigan: Richards, Goulding, Gleeson, Carmont, Pryce, S Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, McIlorum, Coley, Farrell, J Tomkins, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Riddell, Prescott, O'Carroll, Mossop.

Referee: J Childs (RFL).

Attendance: 5,504.

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see also
Sheffield Eagles 34-50 Wigan
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Rugby League on the BBC
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