UNSTINTING praise from Wigan boss Shaun Wane was some compensation for his opposite number after three moments of George Williams’ magic helped settle this latest Battle of the Borough.
England half back Williams scored one try and played key roles in Anthony Gelling’s double as Leigh’s hopes of a first competitive derby win since 1984 were washed away in the DW Stadium rain.
But despite keeping their visitors score less Wane saw enough to offer plenty of solace for disappointed rival, Neil Jukes.
“I want to play a lot of respect to Leigh,” said the Cherry and Whites chief. “They are well coached and they will beat teams.
“I like what they do, I like how they play and they will definitely win a lot of games this year. My mind hasn’t changed.”
And one victory from the opening four games is scant reward for the Centurions who have certainly impressed after the set-back of an opening night mauling at Castleford.
Not that Wigan born Jukes was overly impressed. “We are not going to win many games with nil are we,” he said after Wigan maintained their 100 percent start to the campaign.
“We went into our shell too much and worried too much about the wet weather and the greasy ball.
“Some of the errors we came up with were fundamental ones and we gave far too many away.
“On the back of it we did too much defending and didn’t have much energy to attack.
“Fair play to Wigan they defended what we threw at them but we didn’t challenge them enough and our attack was way off.
“We possibly got caught up in the emotion of the occasion. We spoke before the game of making sure we were always under control.
“But we came up with plays I had not really seen and didn’t get to the areas we spoken about.
“We ended up bringing the ball back from our own line far too much.”
Jukes also pointed to a second half incident involving double try scorer Gelling that potentially turned the game away from Leigh.
They only trailed 12-0 when the maverick centre kicked a stray ball back into the field of play forcing referee Robert Hicks to hold up the game.
Instead of a possible yellow card, Gelling received only a lecture and Wigan went on to add a further eight points including the Cook Islander’s second score.
“Massively so,” said Jukes when asked if there was a case for a sin binning. “We didn’t play well enough to win the game but there were some strange ones (decisions) out there.
“We got done for offside on play five on our try line but many times I can show where Wigan were off side but we didn’t get anything.”
Gelling’s sixth minute try and Morgan Escare’s conversion made it 6-0 at the break with Escare and Sean O’Loughlin failing with drop goal attempts in the poor weather conditions.
Williams cut through Leigh’s defence six minutes after the re-start to increase Wigan’s advantage. And after Gelling’s reprieve, Escare landed a penalty and Gelling seized Williams’ crossfield kick to put the result beyond doubt.
Wigan: Escare; Tierney, Gelling, Burgess, Marshall; Williams, Leuluai; Nuuausala, Powell, Flower, Isa, Farrell, O’Loughlin; Substitutes: Tomkins, Clubb, Tautai, Sutton.
Tries: Williams (46), Gelling (6, 69).
Goals: Escare 3 out of 4.
Leigh: Brown; Dawson, Crooks, Tonga, Naughton; Reynolds, Drinkwater; Hock, Higham, Green, Tickle, Vea, Hansen; Substitutes: Pelissier, Hopkins, Acton, Burr.
Referee: Robert Hicks