WIGAN SPOIL THE DRAGONS PARTY
On a day that was a celebration for Catalan Dragons, the Wigan Warriors where in no mood to let them party. Warriors got revenge on their embarrassing 58-16 loss last year by beating the Dragons 26-6 in a utterly dominant performance.
Catalan started the game off well, putting endless pressure on the Wigan line. However, they only came away from a good spell 2-0 up from a Richards penalty. Wigan where soon down to 12 men for 10 minutes when forward Lee Mossop was sent to the sin-bin for tripping Gigot in a tackle.
This would’ve been a great chance for Catalan to take advantage and start to increase their pressure. However, Wigan responded well, and while down to 12 men, scored back to back tries through Sarginson and Sutton to give the Warriors a 12-2 lead as Mossop returned to the game.
Catalan looked lost for ideas at times and Wigan continued to push up field and start to get a hold on the game. Another try soon followed through Gildart, who scored a stunning solo try. Smith would kick a late penalty to stretch Wigan’s lead to 20-2 going into half time.
BONE CRUNCHER OF A GAME
Wigan started the second half a bit sluggish, letting Horo in for a quick try. However they responded well from that early try and went on to manage the game superbly. Manfredi scored a try to all but wrap up the win for the Warriors with 20 minutes to go. Catalan never really threatened in the final 20 minutes of the game as Wigan kept them at just 6 points.
Many where looking forward to this huge game, not for the skill and quality. But the battle between the two sets of forwards. This game didn’t disappoint, as from the start the big hits and bone crunching tackles kicked in. It was a real tough game of Rugby, and I’ll bet there a few sore bodies in the morning.
I said in my match preview that the battle of the forwards would be key, Wigan won that battle early on. There seemed to be only Dave Taylor who Wigan struggled to deal with in the game, but saying that, I’ve not seen a team handle him well yet.
Ryan Sutton had one of his best games in a Wigan shirt, he seemed to be involved in every tackle, ran the ball in well and even chipped in with a try. The whole forward line of Wigan where superb. Sutton, Flower and Tautai in particular ran the ball in well and won the battle down the middles early on, which only helped the Wigan backs in creating chances.
IMPRESSIVE WIGAN/POOR CATALAN
On their 10th year anniversary in Super League, Catalan produced a performance that wouldn’t have made their legends feel proud. They where sluggish from the outset. They looked more interested in hurting the Wigan players than playing the attractive rugby they normally produce.
It was a fantastic result for Wigan, who have now won 7 consecutive games in all competitions, and go joint top of the league with Hull FC. Warriors are now 3 points clear of Warrington in 3rd and 4 points clear of Catalan in 4th. They have put themselves in a great position going into the Super 8’s.
Wigan, who still have many key personnel to return to the team, are in great form and looking to only get better. Shaun Wane says each week that his side haven’t even played at their best yet. That can only excite the Warriors fans, as they sit joint top of the league and await a Challenge Cup Semi-Final.
VIEW OF THE MANAGERS
Catalan coach, Laurent Frayssinous was disappointed with the result and talked about the days event. Frayssinous said:
“A disappointment at the height of the event.”
“Things have been said between us in the locker room. Lets see if the players will put words to their actions.”
Wigan coach, Shaun Wane was happy with the win and singled out a few of his players efforts. Wane said:
“The way we won it was the impressive thing for me.” He added: “I am very happy with the win. We got beat here last time so I’m glad we’ve got the result this time.”
“Jake (Shorrocks) played just his second game but I think he looked very at home today.” He added: “It was 50th appearances for Taulima Tautai and Ryan Sutton and I am pleased we got the win for them.”
“We weren’t as clinical in the second-half but it is hard to be as good as we were for 80 minutes against Catalans.”
IN THE SHEDS
Mossop was sent to the sin-bin in the 18th minute of the game after tripping Gigot in the tackle.
There where 3 late hits during the game, from Wigan’s Ben Flower and Willie Isa. However, I don’t feel they will be deemed punishable by the RFl.
There where no injuries to report from the game.
Catalans Dragons: (2) 6
Goals: Pat Richards 1/2
Wigan Warriors: (22) 26
Tries: Sarginson, Sutton, Gildart, Manfredi
Goals: Matty Smith 5/5
Catalans Dragons: 1. Tony Gigot, 2. Jodie Broughton, 33. Benjamin Garcia, 4. Vincent Duport, 5. Pat Richards, 6. Todd Carney, 27. Lucas Albert, 14. Dave Taylor, 16. Eloi Pelissier, 10. Remi Casty, 11. Glenn Stewart, 12. Justin Horo, 13. Jason Baitieri
Interchange: 15. Julian Busquet, 18. Thomas Bosc, 22. Antoni Maria, Romain Navarrette
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins, 5. Dom Manfredi, 4. Dan Sarginson, 20. Oliver Gildart, 2. Josh Charnley, 6. George Williams, 7. Matty Smith, 10. Ben Flower, 16. Sam Powell, 17. Lee Mossop, 21. Ryan Sutton, 25. Willie Isa,13. Sean O’Loughlin
Interchange: 19. Taulima Tautai, 26. Greg Burke, 28. Jake Shorrocks, 29. Joe Bretherton
Referee: Gareth Hewer
Venue: Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, Stade Gilbert Brutus
Date/Time: Saturday 2nd July 2016 – 17:00pm GMT