Wigan Warriors open gap at the top of Super League

Michael Maguire, the Wigan coach, praises his side's defence but urges an improvement in attack after they beat Salford 18-4.

Michael Maguire, the Wigan coach, praised his side's defence but urged an improvement in attack after they saw off Salford 18-4 to record their sixth win in succession last night. Pat Richards grabbed 14 of his side's points, with two tries and three goals, while Paul Deacon also touched down. The result took the Warriors four points clear at the top of the Engage Super League after Warrington's 36-16 defeat at Hull KR yesterday and Maguire said: "Salford made it tough for us but we have worked very hard on our defence and we have players who stood up. But we made it hard for ourselves in the first half when our completion rate was only 50 per cent and normally it is 80 per cent.

"We have to go and do a bit of work on our attack because we were not at our best." Shaun McRae, the Salford coach, said he was "delighted" with his side's determined show. "It was a fantastic effort against the best team in the competition," he said Despite scoring four tries Tom Briscoe ended up on the losing side as Hull lost 46-30 at champions Leeds, for whom Keith Senior and Ryan Hall both scored twice. In yesterday's other match Crusaders picked up their fourth win of the season, beating Wakefield 16-10.

Meanwhile in Australia, Jamie Lyon scored 20 points as the Manly Sea Eagles made ground on the NRL standings with a 40-12 win over the Cronulla Sharks. The former St Helens centre scored two tries and kicked six goals from seven attempts. Penrith full-back Lachlan Coote stole the show as the Panthers climbed to eighth spot following a 28-6 home win over Sydney Roosters yesterday.

Coote scored one try and set up another in spectacular fashion just before half-time when he reeled in a high kick and flicked out a pass in one movement for Adrian Purtell to score. * Agencies