Record Scores

From Liversedge in 1896 to Hull Kingston Rovers in 2013, stopping off at Flimby & Fothergill along the way!

Flicking through Ian Morrison's 1986 book "Wigan R.L.F.C. 1895-1986" is like going back through time. In it there is an (almost) complete and (almost) accurate set of records showing Wigan matches since the formation of the Northern Union in 1895 when Wigan decided to go professional (legally). Just like a Wisden's Cricketers Almanack, the book captures moments in time and shows a lot about society.

Challenge Cup games account for six of Wigan's top 10 all-time high scores, with two league games featuring along with one Lancashire Cup tie and a John Player Special Trophy tie. The reason for this is quite simple, League games are meant to have clubs competing at a similar level and runaway victories are rare, especially when you start reaching the 70-point margin. Secondly, early rounds of the Challenge Cup are often complete mis-matches such as Wigan's 1920 tie at home against Healy Street Adults (who?) or a completely new start-up team such as North Wales Crusaders in 2012. But of course, today the Super League teams join in the Challenge Cup in the latter rounds and we sadly no longer have to compete for Regal or Floodlit Trophies.

In my eyes, League games are more 'worthy' shall we say of recognition as the opposition is of much a closer class. Challenge Cup ties, especially the early rounds against lower league opposition in less recent times, are merely a case of "how many will we get?". Five Challenge Cup ties in our Top 10 occurred after 2000 which reflects the change the game of rugby league has made. The Super League is a professional league whereas the players who had played for Halton Simms Cross, Limoux, Whitehaven and North Wales are part-timers: men against boys. In the olden days the game was still 'amateur' in a sense, players still had to earn a living during the week whatever division you was in.

In the World of Rugby League, Wigan's 116-0 effort is dwarfed by some results by other teams. Huddersfield vs Blackpool Gladiators has the all time record at 142-4 back in 1994 whereas Barrow a day later incidentally, recorded a win of 138-0 against Nottingham City.


Technically, Wigan's first highest score in the new Northern Union was 9-0 against Broughton Rangers on 7 September 1895. Whatever the result (unless a 0-0 draw like against Tyldesley on 28 Sept) that 9-0 was Wigan's highest score. This was equalled on November 2 when Warrington were hammered 9-0. By 1896 and coming to the end of the season, Wigan's record stood at 25-0 after a home game against Liversedge, (just outside Batley). It would be silly to record all the 'high' scores before this point as it really didn't matter. Records had to start somewhere and for me, this will do. 25-0 doesn't seem too much nowadays and indeed, the Wigan Warriors of today racked up that many points within 6 minutes against Hull KR in 2013! Seven tries were scored and two of them converted that day against Liversedge but remember the scoring was different back then with a try worth 3 points instead of 4. This record score stood, remarkably, until 1901 and that in itself tells you a lot about the quality on show at Prescott Street towards the turn of the century. In fact, Wigan failed to score in 15 League matches during the 1896/97 season. We shall also be including pre-1895 scores on this page.