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Rugby league: North Wales Crusaders outclassed in Challenge Cup by Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors 98 North Wales Crusaders 4

THE gulf between the Super League and Championship One was highlighted in extreme fashion by Wigan as they dismantled the re-formed Crusaders.

The Warriors, with assistant coach and former Crusaders boss Iestyn Harris in their party, booked their passage into the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a side featuring the sublime Sam Tomkins, who ran in six tries, Thomas Leuluai and Liam Farrell.

The heart and effort was there from Wrexham-based Crusaders, but they were outclassed.

The Crusaders managed to complete their first few sets, but Wigan soon kicked into gear early on.

Debutant Ryan King opened the scoring before Tomkins got his first two.

Josh Charnley and King then added to the scoreline and Farrell then scored his first of his hat-trick. Tomkins struck again and Joe Mellor completed the first half scoring.

In the second the tries kept on coming as Charnley, Chris Tuson, Farrell, Paul Prescott, Tomkins (3) and brother Logan Tomkins completed a heavy defeat for the Crusaders at the DW Stadium.

The North Walians did score however, a late touchdown by Owain Brown sparking cheers in the away end.

“It was to be expected to be fair,” said Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths. “We have only been together 14 weeks.

“Wigan are one of the best rugby league teams in the world, let’s get it into perspective. I have had these boys in for three hours this week for preparation and Wigan did that on Monday morning.

“The gulf was there for everyone to see but we can take a hell of a lot out of that game today. The players will grow from that.”

Harris said had Wigan made it to 100 points it would have been harsh on his former club.

“You can see they have got some young players who have not played the game for too long,” he said. “For them to have conceded 100 points would have been unfair on them.”

Crusaders will hope to bounce back when they visit Workington Town on Sunday (3pm).