Rugby League - Delight for Wane after Wigan rout

Wigan coach Shaun Wane could enjoy some sharply contrasting fortunes 12 months on from his Challenge Cup semi-final heartbreak as he relished the prospect of leading his home-town team out at Wembley.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Delight for Wane after Wigan rout
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Shaun Wane enjoyed contrasting fortunes 12 months on

Wane, who was assistant coach to Australian Michael Maguire when the Warriors lifted the Cup in 2011, was distraught when they lost 39-28 to Leeds in last year's semi-finals but could not have been happier after watching his side demolish London Broncos 70-0.

Winger Pat Richards scored 30 points to break former Wigan favourite Frano Botica's semi-final record and was one of 10 different tryscorers as Wigan exceeded the previous best semi-final winning margin set in 1992 with their 71-10 victory over Bradford.

"I'm ecstatic," Wane said. "I'm really pleased for the players that we've got to Wembley, especially after last year's disappointment.

"I can't tell you how proud I am. We lost against Leeds and played poorly last year.

"I thought we were outstanding and there is no comparison to last year which took me a week to get over."

It was one-way traffic from the moment centre Darrell Goulding skipped through a poor London defence for the first of Wigan's 12 tries on nine minutes.

They led 34-0 at half-time and England winger Josh Charnley scored his second try of the match seven minutes from the end to complete the rout and bring up his century of touchdowns for the club.

Wane revealed his side's emphatic display came despite a disrupted week caused by Monday's Super League derby at St Helens.

"We had a really tough week with it being short," he said. "I don't think everybody trained in the one session that we had.

"It's all credit to the players. It shows their mental toughness. It was a real good effort and to still defend as tough as we did in the last five minutes was typical of their attitude."

Wigan's superb efforts were typified by skipper Sean O'Loughlin, who was at the heart of his side's magnificent defence and ruthless attack.

O'Loughlin said: "We got off to a really good start, got some points on the board and it was hard for London to come back.

"With the scoreline, we needed to keep everyone switched on for 80 minutes."

The try feast was lapped up by the Wigan fans who made up the bulk of the 6,274 crowd at Leigh Sports Village but as a contest this was a non-event which did little to enhance the credibility of the game and London boss Tony Rea admitted the outcome represented his biggest disappointment as a coach.

"It hurts beyond hurt," he said. "It's my biggest disappointment as a coach. We really wanted that for a number of reasons.

"It was exactly what we didn't want to happen and it's incredibly disappointing.

"There was a point in the first half when the game was in the balance for 15 or 16 minutes. One team was ready to crack and we had to be strong but we weren't."

Rea has just five days to pick up his side for the visit of Super League champions Leeds to the Twickenham Stoop and he admits they will need to restore their battered pride.

"It's massive after that," Rea said. "It's a really important game and we have to respond.

"We have to dust off and set about doing what we believe we can do. They'll be shattered but we've got to find some pride and go about our business with a bit of toughness."

Rea admitted that Australian half-back Jamie Soward, recruited on a short-term contract in a bid to get the team to Wembley, was unable to make his mark on the game but insisted he would see out the rest of the season.

"It was a massive penalty count against us and we had an horrendous completion rate," Rea added.

"We didn't have the ball and we were at our worst when we had the ball.

"Jamie is here for rest of the year, 100%."

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