Wigan Warriors powered through to another Super League Grand Final with a 29-2 thumping of Hull FC – setting up a grandstand conclusion to the career of club captain Sean O’Loughlin.
Tries from Joe Burgess, Harry Smith, Zak Hardaker, Jake Bibby and Bevan French saw Wigan swamp their opponents in the first semi-final.
St Helens and Catalans Dragons will do battle on Friday for the right to face the Cherry and Whites in next week’s trophy match.
O’Loughlin, who turns 38 next week, will retire at the end of the season and was thrilled to play his part in a resounding victory at the DW Stadium.
The one-club man made his Wigan debut in 2002 and has been part of four Super League title-winning teams, most recently two years ago.
To make it five would be a dream way to bow out.
— Wigan Warriors (@WiganWarriorsRL) November 19, 2020
O’Loughlin said on Sky Sports: “I’m just overwhelmed we’ve reached a Grand Final.
“It’s weird playing here empty, a strange feeling, but I’m very honoured I got one more opportunity to play one more game here. Bring on next week.
“It’d be special [to win the Grand Final]. There’s not going to be an opportunity to celebrate with fans, but to get one more trophy would make it special.”
Burgess put the finishing touch to a string of slick passes as he dashed through in the left corner for Wigan’s first try in the 27th minute, before his kick through was grasped by Smith for the home side’s second.
The game was testy at times, with fractious exchanges between players despite it being played behind closed doors.
Hardaker and Bibby put Wigan out of sight before French raced through in the 79th minute for his 13th try of the season, completing a polished performance.