Wigan power past plucky Catalans

Wigan came through another testing game to post eight tries and secure a 42-22 win over Catalans that keeps them firmly in touch with the top end of the Super League table.

Catalans made a nervous start with Sam Moa juggling the ball in the first set while Wigan attacked confidently. Joe Burgess had an early opportunity to show his speed with a magnificent run down the left that finished with Liam Marshall stopped in the corner.

Unfortunately for the hosts Morgan Escare was adjudged to have passed forward.

Five minutes in Catalans spread play to their left, but an error gave Tom Davies a running chance and a penalty had Wigan firing again. Davies was prevented on the right, before Liam Farrell was kept out.

Catalans came up with a really good defensive set and won a penalty on their next possession. After an intelligent kick by Luke Walsh, Davies was trapped in his own in-goal area.

The Dragons pressed strongly with Tony Gigot looking dangerous and creating space before losing the ball on contact. This allowed Wigan to come away from their own line, but Frank-Paul Nuuausala also knocked on thirty metres from his own line.

Good defence then forced a turnover from Louis Anderson, Thomas Leuluai cleaned up and Tom Davies ran to the posts from 80 metres, beating Paul Aiton. Escare goaled and Wigan led 6-0 after 15 minutes.

An error invited Catalans back and Sam Moa made fifteen metres to go inside their half. Luke Walsh was then rushed and the Warriors went seventy metres again on the error with Liam Forsyth passing for Davies to dash down the wing and around Gigot after 18 minutes. Escare hit the post with the conversion.

The hosts were now in ascendancy and it only took three minutes for them to score a third try when George Williams invited Burgess back inside and he scored. This time Escare converted and it was 16-0 and looking a long afternoon for the visitors.

The Warriors erred on the restart and Catalans fielded a drop out. Once again quick defence from Wigan resulted in a turnover and the Warriors went close to scoring with only an effective dive by Thomas Bosc securing possession for Catalans.

Unsurprisingly they kicked long and forced an error inside the Wigan twenty. The Dragons huffed and puffed their way through the set before Fouad Yaha touched down in the corner after a kick from Richie Myler caused some surprise between Burgess and Marshall. Walsh sent the kick wide from the touchline, but the Dragons were finally on the board after 27 minutes.

Wigan had further chances with Farrell and Michael McIlorum before Thomas Bosc did well to get on the end of a stabbed grubber kick. Marshall thought he had weaved his way to the line after 36 minutes, but Catalans were awarded a penalty for obstruction.

Just before the break Catalans pulled a try back when Walsh pumped the ball high, Escare spilled it on the line and Gigot ran through to ground. Walsh goaled and it was 16-10 to the hosts.

Catalans marched downfield and Richie Myler launched a great kick to the air that Louis Anderson took with great aplomb and carried two players to the line.

As the seconds ticked down, Wigan made another break on the left through Farrell but his kick for Burgess was too big.

A minute into the second half, Wigan scored a fourth try when Leulai kicked, Gigot missed the ball and Forsyth went over. Escare completely fluffed the kick but the Warriors led 20-16.

Six minutes into the half, Catalans won back to back penalties and made that advantage count when Myler hit Anderson with a super pass for the second row to notch his second try. Walsh converted to give the visitors the lead and although Wigan went close after 50 minutes both Ben Flower and Willie Isa were hauled down.

Wigan continued to look constructive but Isa couldn’t hold onto Sean O’Loughlin’s pass after 53 minutes. At the other end Davies did well to take a Walsh attacking kick and Myler left the field for a concussion assessment.

Catalans had a further opportunity soon after, but Yaha couldn’t get there.

With back-to-back penalties of their own, Wigan moved inside the twenty well before appearing to lose their way. That didn’t stop Forsyth reacting to get past a couple of defenders and over the line. Once again Escare missed the goal but the Warriors led 24-22 with 19 minutes to play.

Like a jack-in-a-box, George Williams sprung into the game with devastating effect. A thirty metre break from the England stand-off set the position and Burgess supported for his second try of the game. Sam Powell replaced Escare on goal-kicking duties and Wigan led 30-22 after his success.

Again Williams came into the game on the left and found Escare but the pass was deemed forward.

Wigan all but secured the points with Marshall sweeping in for their seventh try off Escare and Powell added his second goal with twelve minutes left.

Catalans were missing Myler, who did return with just over ten minutes remaining but couldn’t inspire the visitors to a comeback in an entertaining game and Wigan added the icing to the cake when Williams went through the line and found Farrell in support. Powell kicked his third goal and Wigan celebrated a 42-22 win.

Wigan: Morgan Escare, Tom Davies, Liam Forsyth, Joe Burgess, Liam Marshall; George Williams, Thomas Leuluai, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sam Powell, Ben Flower, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin. Subs: Michael McIlorum, Taulima Tautai, Ryan Sutton, Romain Navarrete.

Tries: Tom Davies (15, 18), Joe Burgess (21, 62), Liam Forsyth (41, 59), Liam Marshall (67), Liam Farrell (79)
Goals: Morgan Escare 2/5, Sam Powell 3/3.

Catalans: Tony Gigot, Fouad Yaha, Iain Thornley, Vincent Duport, Thomas Bosc; Luke Walsh, Richie Myler; Sam Moa, Paul Aiton, Lambert Belmas, Louis Anderson, Benjamin Garcia, Remi Casty. Subs: Julien Bousquet, Mickael Simon, Alrix Da Costa, Thibaut Margelet.

Tries: Fouad Yaha (27), Tony Gigot (36), Louis Anderson (38, 46).
Goals: Liam Walsh 3/4.

Half-time: 16-16
Full-time: 42-22
Attendance: 11,637.

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