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Arguably the game of the round was first up on the Thursday night of round ten of SuperLeague 2024 as the Catalans Dragons visited the Wigan Warriors with the top of the table in the sights of both teams as the competition enters it’s middle third of the season.

It was a repeat of the 2023 Grand Final with the Dragons looking to do better than the 10-2 defeat which they suffered at Old Trafford last October, but the bookies had the home side down as favourites by handicapping them twelve points on the coupon before kick-off.

A win of any description would send the Dragons to the top, a win by more than twenty-four points would put the Warriors at the peak of the table.

There were plenty of errors from both sides in the opening exchanges, balls dislodged, wayward kicks and players dragged in to touch foiled both attacks.

The first points of the game came from the boot of Arthur Mourgue after the Wigan Warriors were penalised for being offside at the play the ball just twelve from their own sticks. There were seventeen minutes of the clock when the Dragons hit the front.

Three minutes later a delightful Alrix da Costa soft pass put Julian Bousquet free to spin out of an attempted Wigan tackle to drop over the line. Mourgue added the conversion for 8-0, the Dragons good value for their lead and the home supporters with murmurs of discontent.

Wigan were back in the game on twenty-seven after a strong run from Luke Thompson saw the big prop forward crash through the Dragons defensive line and ground the ball under the tackle and slide over the line. Harry Smith hit the target with the conversion for 6-8.

Patrick Mago went close to giving the Warriors the lead but after sending the decision up as a ‘NO TRY’ the video referee agreed and determined that he’d grounded the ball short of the line, Wigan trailing by two at the interval.

On forty-four a moment of brilliance from Harry Smith saw him chase and ground his own chip over the top for a great solo try under the sticks making his own conversion a straightforward one for a 12-8 lead.

It was the perfect start to the second half for Wigan as they went in again on forty-eight, Adam Keighran collecting a pinpoint floated Bevan French pass to evade the Dragons tacklers to go over in the right corner. Smith added the conversion from wide on the touchline for eighteen unanswered points for the Cherry & Whites.

Jayden Nikorima was held up on his back over the line on fifty-three and two plays later Mike McMeeken was shoved into touch by a determined defence.

On sixty-three the game was taken beyond the Dragons as Liam Farrell took an inside pass from Jake Wardle to go over from five metres out for the fourth Wigan try of the night in a second half which the home side had dominated. Smith added the conversion, maintaining his one hundred percent record on the night.

Two minutes from time and the Warriors iced their cake after Jai Field chased and caught a Bevan French kick over the top, but after he was hauled down ten metres out a fast play the ball saw Abbas Miski go in unopposed to score under the sticks and give Smith the simplest of kicks to secure a twenty-two point winning margin at 30-8.

While the Dragons edged the first half and took a two-point lead into the interval, the second half belonged to the Champions who ran in five unanswered tries to put the game well beyond the visitors. It wasn’t quite enough of a winning margin to see them top of the table but they are now level on points with their arch-enemy St Helens and tonight’s defeated Catalans. Wigan well and truly back on the bike after last weeks defeat.

Wigan Warriors:  Field, Miski (T), Keighran (T), Wardle, Marshall, French, Smith (T, 5/5 G), Thompson (T), O’Neill, Byrne, Nsemba, Farrell (T), Ellis.   Subs: Havard, Mago, Leeming, Dupree. 18th Man: Hill.

Catalans Dragons: Mourgue (2/2 G), Yaha, Laguerre, Romano, Johnstone, Nikorima, Abdull, Bousquet (T), da Costa, Navarrete, Sims, McMeeken, Garcia. Subs: Séguier, Sironen, Rougé, Satae. 18th Man: Maria. 

Half-Time: 6-8.

Full-Time: 30-8.

Score Progression: 0-2, 0-6, 0-8, 4-8, 6-8 : HT: 10-8, 12-8, 16-8, 18-8, 22-8, 24-8, 28-8, 30-8 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Catalans - Wigan.

Referee: Jack Smith.  



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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 2nd May 2024 9:54 PM | Views : 2838 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES