Wigan Warriors produced the performance of the season with a stunning 62-4 victory over Widnes Vikings on Saturday night.
The victory at the DW Stadium was particularly sweet for head coach Shaun Wane, with the demolition coming in the wake of controversial comments from counterpart Denis Betts surrounding second-row forward Gareth Hock.
The England international is on loan at Widnes from Wigan, and was not allowed to play against his parent club. Betts claimed the move showed the opposition were ‘afraid’ of the player, and Wane admits the comments fired-up his players ahead of the Super League clash.
"We used it to our benefit. I don't understand why it was said, but it was said. There was a challenge laid down. There were some hurtful comments made and we responded to it,” he told BBC Radio Manchester.
"We showed that our players are tough, they play tough and I thought our mental toughness in the game was fantastic."
Josh Charnley was the star of the show with four tries for his side, whilst Sam Tomkins scored a hat-trick of his own in the rout.
Pat Richards kicked nine conversions and also went over for a try of his own, whilst Chris Tuson, Liam Farrell and Iain Thornley also went over the whitewash.
Whilst the win moves Wigan up to second in the table, defeat leaves Widnes third-bottom, and Betts admits the defeat was a ‘slap in the face’.
"It was disappointing. You've got to put it in perspective and I thought Wigan were fantastic,” he told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"I honestly thought it would be a closer game than it was but we got steamrollered. They looked like they were on fast forward and we looked like we were on pause.
"If you don't play at full tilt in every single play, a side like Wigan will catch you out. It was a big slap in the face from a side that ran hard, tackled hard and wanted to play more than we did."
Lloyd White scored the only points for the Vikings on a night to forget in Lancashire.
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