Wigan 42 Catalans 22
Match report as Wigan Warriors beat Catalans Dragons 42-22 at the DW Stadium
Joe Burgess, Micky McIlorum and Willie Isa replace Anthony Gelling, Nick Gregson and Joel Tomkins in Shaun Wane’s Wigan outfit
- Tom Davies (2), Joe Burgess (2), Liam Forsyth (2), Liam Marshall and Liam Farrell with Wigan’s tries
Seven tries from Wigan’s outside backs guided them to a 42-22 win over Catalans Dragons at the DW Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Wigan started excellently and went 16-0 up in the first-half thanks to tries from Joe Burgess and two from Tom Davies. Catalans soon hit back though and made the score 16-16 at the break following efforts from Fouad Yaha, Tony Gigot and Louis Anderson.
In the second-half, Wigan went back into the lead with a try from Liam Forsyth but Catalans soon hit back thanks to another Louis Anderson effort, making the score 22-20 to the Dragons.
Four unanswered Wigan tries from Liam Marshall, Liam Farrell, Burgess and Forsyth sealed the two points as the Warriors rounded off a 42-22 victory.
Shaun Wane made three changes to his side that beat Wakefield Trinity on Easter Monday. Joe Burgess, Micky McIlorum and Willie Isa replaced Anthony Gelling, Nick Gregson and Joel Tomkins.
French veteran Thomas Bosc started on the wing for the Dragons while former Warrior Iain Thornley was at centre with Lambert Belmas off the bench.
Wigan started the game well and had a couple of chances early doors but Catalans managed to keep the Warriors at bay. The home side eventually broke the deadlock 15 minutes in as Tom Davies went the length of the field after using quick footwork to get past Thomas Bosc. Morgan Escaré converted to put Wigan 6-0 up.
Davies grabbed his second two minutes later as Liam Forsyth made a fine break to take on Tony Gigot and Bosc before passing it out wide to speedster Davies who raced 40 metres to score. Escaré failed to convert but Wigan were 10-0 to the good.
Joe Burgess looked at home in the unusual centre position and was soon over the whitewash as George Williams’ lay-off allowed him space to barge over. Escaré added the extras and Wigan led 16-0 after 20 minutes.
Fouad Yaha scored a try in every game between the two teams last year and was amongst the scorers again as he squeezed in at the corner for Catalans’ first of the game. Luke Walsh dragged his conversion attempt meaning Wigan were still in a 16-4 lead.
Catalans pulled another back with five minutes of the first-half left as Escaré struggled to deal with a towering Walsh bomb leaving Tony Gigot with little to do apart from collect the ball and touch down. Walsh added the conversion and Wigan were just 16-10 ahead.
The Dragons made the score level three minutes later as Wigan failed to cope with another high kick, Louis Anderson the man to cash in as he stormed onto the punt to crash over the whitewash. Walsh converted to make score 16-16 going into the changing rooms.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 16–16 Catalans Dragons
The Cherry and Whites started the second-half with a bang as Tommy Leuluai put a smart kick into the corner which Catalans couldn’t cope with and Forsyth finished nicely in the corner. The conversion was off target and Wigan were back in front.
Catalans then won consecutive penalties ten minutes after the restart and a crisp Richie Myler pass found Anderson who steamed over from close range. Walsh’s conversion put his side in a narrow 22-20 lead.
Wigan now behind for the first time and dealt a further blow as Tommy Leuluai left the field with a jaw injury.
Forsyth was playing with more and more confident and got his second on the hour mark. There looked to be no way through until the ball landed with Forsyth, with the centre going on a nice individual burst to go past three Dragons men before scoring. Escaré failed to convert but Wigan led 24-22.
England international Williams made a trademark line break and then assisted the supporting Burgess who also went over for his second try of the afternoon. Sam Powell took over the kicking duties and added the additional two points and Wigan were 30-22 to the good.
Sean O’Loughlin was in the halves for Wigan and pulling the strings well as a nice passing play down the line saw Liam Marshall score his tenth try in nine games. Powell kicked the conversion to stretch Wigan’s lead to 36-22.
Liam Farrell capped a good personal display with a try at the death following another good break from Williams. Powell converted to secure a 42-22 victory and another two points to help move the Warriors within one point of top spot.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 42–22 Catalans Dragons
Wigan Warriors – 42
Tries: T Davies 2, Burgess 2, Forsyth 2, Marshall, Farrell
Goals: Escare 2/5, Powell 3/3
Catalans Dragons - 22
Tries: Yaha, Gigot, Anderson 2
Goals: Walsh 3/4
Wigan Warriors: 22. Morgan Escare, 36. Tom Davies, 32. Liam Forsyth, 5. Joe Burgess, 35. Liam Marshall, 6. George Williams, 7. Tommy Leuluai, 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 16. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower, 20. Willie Isa, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.
Interchange: 9. Micky McIlorum, 17. Taulima Tautai, 19. Ryan Sutton, 26. Romain Navarrete.
Catalans Dragons: 1. Tony Gigot, 5. Fouad Yaha, 21. Iain Thornley, 18. Vincent Duport, 16. Thomas Bosc, 6. Luke Walsh, 7. Richie Myler, 8. Sam Moa, 9. Paul Aiton, 26. Lambert Belmas, 11. Louis Anderson, 15. Benjamin Garcia, 10. Remi Casty.
Interchange: 14. Julian Bousquet, 19. Mika Simon, 23. Alrix Da Costa, 25. Thibaut Margalet.
Referee – Gareth Hewer