Tony Gigot produced a magical individual performance to help Catalans Dragons defeat Wakefield Trinity 25-18 at Anfield to open up the 2019 Dacia Magic Weekend. Here’s how the action unfolded.
Gigot had a hand in three of the French side’s four tries as well as kicking four goals and crucially a drop goal to help Catalans win a third successive Super League game at the expense of Wakefield.
Starting at full-back in the absence of Sam Tomkins, Gigot set up Fouad Yaha for the opening try of Magic Weekend with a deft, perfectly-weighted kick that the winger did well to touch down in the corner.
He then scored a try of his own on 31 minutes when Yaha returned the favour with a simple inside pass. However, Kenny Edward’s initial pass to Yaha, which started the move, appeared to be at least a yard forward but was missed by the officials.
After comfortably converting his own try, he kicked a penalty minutes before the half-time hooter sounded to send the Perpignan based outfit 12-0 ahead at the interval, with Trinity rarely threatening the Catalans try line in the opening 40 minutes.
However, Wakefield took less than a minute to ignite their response in the second half when Mason Caton-Brown collected an excellent cut-out pass from Max Jowitt before showing Samisoni Langi a clean pair of heels and finding Jacob Miller, who in turn set up Kyle Wood for a simple score underneath the posts.
Danny Kirmond then went over for a try on his 200th Super League appearance just four minutes later after an excellent offload by Ryan Hampshire, who comfortably added the extras, bringing the scores level at 12-apiece.
Trinity’s resurgence continued just a minute later when James Batchelor made a clean break but ignored the support of team-mate Wood, only to be caught just short of the Catalans line by Lewis Tierney.
Matt Whitley then conceded a needless penalty with Catalans struggling to cope with Wakefield’s attacking pressure, with Hampshire staying perfect from the kicking tee to hand the West Yorkshire side the lead for the first time in the match on 48 minutes.
It took the Dragons until the 56th minute to get on the scoreboard in the second-half, turning the score back in their favour when Benjamin Garcia crashed over following a well-worked set piece off the back of a scrum, with Gigot providing another assist with a wonderful no-look pass.
Ben Jones-Bishop then set up the prospect of Golden Point extra time when he touched down in the corner after another fine pass from Jowitt, bringing the scores level at 18-18 with 12 minutes left to play after Hampshire failed to add the extras.
Wakefield’s chances took a hammer blow just four minutes later however when prime Man of Steel contender David Fifita, who had been quiet all afternoon at Anfield, hobbled off with a suspected foot injury and left the stadium on crutches.
Thus, it was left to the magical Gigot to effectively settle the tie when he dropped a goal from around 40 metres out with just four minutes left to play, bringing his individual points tally for the match to 11 and edging the Dragons back in front.
Garcia scored his second try of the afternoon out of dummy-half in the final minute of the tie, catching out a sleeping Wakefield defence, with Gigot slotting the conversion between the sticks after the final hooter had sounded.
Gigot brings the magic to Anfield
The Frenchman produced an excellent display at Anfield, giving coach Steve McNamara a real selection headache when Sam Tomkins returns from injury as to who the Dragons will start at full-back. His brother Samuel Gigot is a professional footballer but Tony certainly looked at home both here and at the Nou Camp last week after scoring a try, providing two assists, kicking four goals and a drop goal.
Jowitt impressive on return
Still only 22-years-old, Max Jowitt returned from a long-term foot injury to great effect. He denied Fouad Yaha a try with an excellent try-saving tackle in the opening ten minutes before making crucial passes for the tries of Kyle Wood and Ben Jones-Bishop. Staying fit and regular game time could see him become one of the stars of the future.
The extent of Fifita’s injury could determine Trinity’s season
Whilst he may not have had his greatest afternoon on Merseyside, the injury sustained by David Fifita could have huge ramifications for Wakefield’s season. The 6ft 4in prop is their top try-scorer and losing him for what looks like at least the next couple of fixtures could be crucial to Trinity’s season. Fingers crossed it’s not as serious as the crutches suggest.
The sky is the limit for Catalans
Catalans are on their best run of form in Super League this season after claiming their third successive victory in the league. Whilst they’re still eight points behind league leaders St Helens, they’ve closed the gap on Warrington to just two points, albeit the Wolves have a game in hand, and will now have high hopes of reaching the end of season play-offs by securing a top four finish.
Wakefield Trinity 18
Tries: Wood, Kirmond, Jones-Bishop
Goals: Hampshire 3
Drop Goals: n/a
Catalans Dragons 25
Tries: Yaha, Gigot, Garcia 2
Goals: Gigot 4
Drop Goals: Gigot
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Sa’u, Caton-Brown, Miller, Hampshire, Fifita, Wood, Kopczak, Ashurst, Kirmond, King.
Interchanges: Batchelor, England, Randell, Tanginoa.
Catalans Dragons: Gigot, Yaha, Mead, Wiliame, Tierney, Langi, Smith, Bousquet, Da Costa, Moa, Whitley, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Edwards, Simon, Baitieri, Kasiano.