Catalans 12-28 Wigan: Fans return fails to inspire Dragons

Wigan got back to winning ways in Perpignan, humbling Catalans Dragons in front of their first home crowd for six months with a 28-12 Super League victory.

A Joe Burgess double and a kicking masterclass from Jackson Hastings, Sam Powell and Thomas Leuluai were enough for Wigan to take the points.

Catalans were unable to cope with the ferocity of Wigan’s young forwards and the energy-sapping 32-degrees humidity. Two weeks of Covid quarantine had obviously taken their toll.

Missing key players Josh Drinkwater, Michael McIlorum, Tom Davies and David Mead, the Dragons lacked firepower and McNamara will hope to field a stronger line-up against Salford Red Devils in next week’s Coral Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Wigan struck first with an eighth-minute try for Oliver Gildart despite complaints of a forward pass in the build-up.

Then, despite immense pressure from the home team, the Warriors survived a series of penalties and drop-outs to land the second try – a 40-metre dash by Burgess who fed full-back Bevan French to cross the line in the 26th minute.

Burgess struck the killer blow just before half-time, picking up a loose carry by Sam Kasiano and sprinting unchallenged over the line. Zak Hardaker’s conversion and a 39th-minute penalty made it 18-0 to the Warriors at the break.

Sam Tomkins scuffled with his former Wigan team-mates as the interval hooter blew and had a heated debate with referee Chris Kendall as the teams headed to the changing rooms.

An early second-half sin-binning for Wigan’s Joe Greenwood could not spark Catalans into life.

Instead, the Warriors went further ahead with a dazzling midfield move by French. He found Gildart, whose fumbled pass was deemed to go backwards by the video referee and Burgess pounced.

Hooker Sam Powell put Wigan further ahead 15 minutes later, twisting and dummying under the uprights, and Hardaker’s conversion took the Warriors to 28 unanswered points.

Julian Bousquet barged over the line eight minutes from the end and Fouad Yaha crossed in the corner in the final minute but it was scant consolation for the French supporters allowed into Stade Gilbert Brutus for the first time since coronavirus swept the continent.

1 Comment

  1. Wigan were good, not great; we managed to make them look great, especially with our sometimes half-hearted tackling – cries from all parts of “plaquez”; Mr Kendal, imho one of our best referees, made a couple of early slipups, but settled to have a good match; we missed our nap hand of top players, maybe against Salford next week we’ll have a few back; M. Guash has been magnificent, but unless someone with big pockets come forward, we will really struggle

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