Burgess treble spurs Warriors

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Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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Sydney-bound winger Joe Burgess scored his first Super League hat-trick as Wigan secured their first away win of the season, but they were made to work hard by struggling Wakefield in an error-strewn game at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.

Burgess, who is joining Sydney Roosters at the end of the year, scored three of the Warriors’ seven tries in a 40-22 victory – their first Super League success in West Yorkshire for 18 months – to help his side climb above St Helens into second place in the table, at least for 24 hours.

It was a third consecutive win for Shaun Wane’s men and a fifth from their last six matches but their hard-to-please coach will be far from happy with their performance and his mood will have worsened by a hamstring injury to centre Anthony Gelling.

It was a ninth successive defeat for the Wildcats, who remain rooted to the foot of the table, but a vast improvement on their 80-0 rout by Warrington in their previous league game.

Still without seven senior players through injury, Wakefield gave a debut to Widnes loanee prop Ben Kavanagh, a first start to young loose forward Jordan Crowther and a first Super League outing for former Leeds prop Ian Kirke.

And their problems worsened when Kirke sustained a broken thumb and loose forward Danny Washbrook damaged a rib to leave coach James Webster cursing his luck.

Yet the Wildcats made the best possible start, with makeshift centre Matt Ryan breaking clear from his own half to create a try for full-back Craig Hall, who kicked the first of his three goals.

Wigan looked to have gained control, however, when prop Dom Crosby took Michael McIlorum’s pass to crash over for his first try for more than two years and scrum-half Matty Smith skipped through Wildcats defence for a solo score.

Flying wingers Burgess and Dom Manfredi both produced clinical finishes to double the Warriors’ try tally before half-time but the gritty Yorkshiremen would not lie down as the game opened up after Sam Powell (Wigan) and Tim Smith (Wakefield) were despatched to the sin bin following a skirmish.

Daniel Smith got skipper Danny Kirmond through a chink in the visitors’ defence for one try and stand-off Pita Godinet added another on the stroke of half-time, darting over from dummy half, as Wakefield eyed a repeat of last year’s shock win over Wane’s men.

Burgess scorched over for his second try within two minutes of the re-start following more smart work from his centre partner Dan Sarginson as Wigan established a 12-point lead for the third time.

But Godinet pounced on a stray pass from former Wigan’s Wakefield forward Taulima Tautai to get winger Chris Riley over for a fourth Wildcats try to cut the deficit to 30-22.

However, the game always looked to be within Wigan’s grasp and they opened up a three-score lead on 57 minutes when prop Lee Mossop proved unstoppable from 10 metres out.

Burgess was denied when referee Robert Hicks ruled a knock-on from George Williams’ grubber kick but he duly completed his hat-trick on 63 minutes after accepting Williams’ cut-out pass to cross at the corner.

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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