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Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Friday, 9 September 2011 22:08 UK

Wigan 42-10 Crusaders

Wigan (18) 42
Tries: Charnley 2, Finch, Hoffman, Farrell, Richards, J Tomkins
Richards 7
Crusaders (6) 10
Tries: Lupton, Sammut Goals: Schifcofske

Josh Charnley
Winger Josh Chanley runs in the second of Wigan's seven tries

Reigning champions Wigan were forced to settle for second behind Warrington in this season's Super League final table.

But they were still victorious in their last fixture of the campaign as doomed Crusaders bowed out after three highly eventful seasons in Super League.

Josh Charnley scored two of Wigan's seven tries, Brett Finch, Ryan Hoffman, Liam Farrell, Pat Richards and Joel Tomkins all getting on the scoresheet.

But Jarrod Sammut scored the final try of the night for the Welsh side.

Peter Lupton ran in the visitors' other try, Clinton Schifcofske kicking the goal, while the prolific Richards landed all seven of his conversions for an 18-point haul. And Charnley's brace took his tally for the season to 25 in 29 matches.

With Wakefield beating Bradford, Crusaders' 21st defeat of an ill-fated campaign meant that they finished bottom - just as they did in their first season in Super League in 2009.

Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris, one of six Super League bosses leaving their post at the end of the season, including Wigan's Michael Maguire, is now expected to move to the DW Stadium himself.

I thought the players did extremely well in difficult circumstances. They showed real pride for each other.
Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris

He has reportedly been lined up to become assistant to Shaun Wane, who is expected to step up from his role as number two to Maguire to become Wigan's new head coach next season.

But although excited about his own future, Harris was giving little away as a season which started so memorably for him at the Millennium Stadium with a stunning 42-12 Magic Weekend win over Salford ended so dishearteningly.

And the former dual code international was more concerned with expressing his sadness at Crusaders' plight after a spirited display in front of a vociferous band of travelling fans.

Wigan will now face local rivals St Helens at the DW Stadium in the play-off semi-finals next weekend.

Hooker Thomas Leuluai should be fit to face Saints despite coming off early in the game with a leg injury.


Wigan coach Michael Maguire:

"We were a bit dusty to start with. There are areas of our game we know we are a lot better at but I thought there were patches throughout the game where we showed our form."

"It was probably our opportunity last week to grab top spot but second is still a good position.

"It gives us a home final and we're now looking forward to the next part of the season."

Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris:

"It's a sad day for sport. The players did extremely well in difficult circumstances. They showed real pride for each other. They all go on to different things in life now but they can be really pleased with how they've finished a difficult six weeks. We'd have liked to have finished off the bottom but the last six weeks has been about getting through that very difficult period.

"Six weeks ago we learnt we weren't getting the licence and the players learnt that they had to pay the mortgage some other way. When that happens your focus shifts and it's been about a duty of care to the players and trying to give players without new clubs the best opportunity to show other coaches in Super League that they are worth contracts.

"That's been our focus and I'm really pleased we've got the majority fixed up. I think there are only five or six left, off the top of my head, but two or three of them are retiring."


Wigan: S Tomkins; Charnley, J Tomkins, Carmont, Richards; Deacon, Finch; Lima, Leuluai, Prescott, Hansen, Hoffman, O'Loughlin.

Replacements: McIlorum, O'Carroll, Farrell, Tuson.

Crusaders: Schifcofske; Reardon, Martin, Mellars, Kear; White, Sammut; Moore, Withers, Bryant, Winternstein, Chan, Lupton.

Replacements: Flower, Johnson, L Williams, Bracek.

Attendance: 19,104.

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).

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see also
Warrington 39-12 Wigan
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Bradford 48-24 Crusaders
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Crusaders 16-48 Wigan
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Crusaders 26-46 Wigan
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Wigan 38-6 Crusaders
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Celtic Crusaders 22-16 Wigan
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Wigan 44-10 Celtic Crusaders
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Rugby League on the BBC
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