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Match Report: Wigan 36 Catalan 12
Posted by cherryandwhite on March 04 2012 - 23:32

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Catalan Dragons - Stobart Super League XVII Round 5.
Sunday 4th March 2012. Kick Off 3:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

A significant victory this one for Wigan I think. I was saying pre match that I felt Wigan had been revising for a big exam in the three games prior to this one and today was the big test. What was the result of the test? Well I think it was all about proving that we can have another shot at first place this season. I certainly felt pre season that we'd still be top 4 but nearer 4th than 1st, however you have to say we are looking good again this year.

Today's game was a scrappy, bitty affair and closer really that the final score suggests. I'm convinced though that this was a game we would have lost last season, or if we'd won we'd have nicked it rather than won by 24 points. At times in the game Catalan tried to badger into frustration but eventually we dug ourselves out of that, and that I'm sure will be pleasing for coach Shaun Wane.

Wigan should have got off to a perfect start when, in the third minute, Jack Hughes was sent through a big overlap on the left but somehow fumbled the ball.

It took Catalan ten minutes to get into half and they didn't waste any time "taking the two" when referee Richard Silverwood gave them an opportunity bang in front. Scott Dureau booted it over.

Four minutes later Wigan got a chance of a penalty shot in exactly the same position up the other end, but instead they tapped it and soon after Tommy Leuluai darts over from close range for his first try since the Cup Final last August. Pat Richards converted for a 6-2 Wigan lead.

I felt it was a deserved lead but Catalan were quickly level with a classy try on 18 minutes. They ripped us up down the right with Dureau sending Setaimata Sa on the half break. He found Vincent Duport, who drew in the last defender before offloading to send Dureau in the right corner. Thomas Bosc couldn't convert this effort which left the scores level at 6-6.

Wigan could have been back in front on 25 minutes but Pat Richards was deemed to be in touch when trying to squeeze in the left corner. He was ok however six minutes later when a combination of Brett Finch, Leuluai and Sam Tomkins sent him in. Wigan punished Catalan for being penalised for incorrect play the ball, Pat was too strong for Damien Blanch in defence but he couldn't convert though so the lead was just 10-6.

It looked like that lead would be kept up till half time but Catalan managed to score two minutes before the hooter. It was a succession of 50/50 calls that all went the Dragons way and Gregory Mounis managed to stretch over from close range. Looked like Wigan might have held him up but the in goal judge was adamant he grounded the ball. Dureau converted to give them a 12-10 half time lead.

A tight score line was probably about right at the break. I wasn't too worried though. I felt we had plenty of improvement in us, and so it proved.

I write most weeks in these reports about how important the first try after half time is and I think in this particular game it would decide the match to be honest. I think if Catalan had gone 18-10 up they would have frustrated us into defeat. In fact it felt like a game in which a two score lead was going to be a winnable lead for either side. Thankfully it was Wigan that got the two score lead.

Not without pressure. It took us three minutes to get possession after the restart but although the French forced a drop out, we defended them out. Eventually though Wigan took this game by the scruff of the neck with some clever play from dummy half.

50th Minute and Darrell Goulding darts quickly out of the play the ball and catches the visitors offside. Moments later Mike McIlorum does the same and this allows Chris Tuson to send Jack Hughes over for the first try of his Wigan career. Pat converted for 16-12.

What had worked once, worked again five minutes later. Bang, bang, quick scooting from the play the ball catches Catalan offside twice and this time Josh Charnley is send through an overlap in the right corner. Pat nails a touchline conversion to make it 22-12.

Now we saw last week how St Helens couldn't control a 26-8 lead over Catalan, but Wigan controlled this lead beautifully. Nothing fancy, just basic hard work. It was never going to be an afternoon in which we'd rip this side to bits. They were good Catalan and the proved to me that they will be worthy top 4 this year. I don't think they will be near first because they rely to heavily on Scott Dureau but they are a hard working outfit and its credit to Wigan that we did even better!

Wigan were just that bit better in defence. On the hour mark, Catalan got two back to back penalties but we managed to keep them out with Damien Blanch hitting the touchline before grounding in the right corner. Bit of a concern at this point with a big hit forcing Gareth Hock off but he did return later. He had been, for me, the main man in turning this game from a tight contest into a Wigan win. He was outstanding in the 20 minutes after half time, although he was a bit of a giddy kipper on one big bust up the middle with an offload back to Catalan when he should have just took the tackle. Mike McIlorum was also excellent from dummy half today. We really killed them around the play the ball.

We never looked like being pegged back from this score line. Pat Richards kicking a penalty goal on 69 minutes made sense to make it 24-12 before the match was sealed three minutes later. Lovely bust from McIlorum and he drew in the full back before sending the supporting Sean O'Loughlin over. Easy conversion for Pat made it 30-12.

The match was wrapped up with a cherry and top of the cake try with two minutes to go. McIlorum showed some kicking skills with a dab to the right corner but Thomas Bosc and Clint Greenshields were made to look mugs by trying to let the ball bounce dead. It didn't and Charnley pounced for his ninth try of the season. That's nine tries in five games for him, which is two more that the Rugby Union Aviva Premierships top try scorer has, and they've been playing since September! Pat converted off the touchline to complete a 36-12 win.

So a good win that sets us up nicely now towards the visit of Warrington here in three weekends time. We still have to see off Widnes and London before then but with them both being winless still this year they look proper lambs to the slaughter. Next week almost looks like a bye week for us. Let's hope we get down to Widnes and do a professional hatchet job on our old maestro Denis Betts.

Reaction to the Action

Shaun Wane: "It was 26-0 to us in the second half and we had 80 per cent completion. That's been one of the most satisfying things for me this year - our second-half performances have been ruthless. Now we'll strive to be ruthless in the first half too. It was a great win for us. They're a good team with some great players so we needed to be at our best. We knew it'd be a tough game, physically. That's what we got and that's why it's so pleasing. Looking back, we missed a couple of opportunities to make it more convincing but if someone had given me that scoreline before the game I'd have snatched their hands off."

Catalan Coach Trent Robinson: "We had some opportunities that we exploited but I thought their forwards dominated our forwards today, they just had a better platform. (Wigan's) Michael McIlorum had a great game out of dummy-half. Scott Dureau tried to get in there and get us started again but we lacked enough ball, enough possession. I saw a bit of fight and a bit of control but then I saw some sloppy ball, indiscipline and some edgy defence that we need to work on. As soon as they got some set-starts they controlled the game. When it looked a bit scrappy and there was some open play I thought we came back into it but there just wasn't enough of that for us."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Catalan 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Clint Greenshields 1
2 Josh Charnley Winger Damien Blanch 2
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Jean-Philippe Baile 15
26 Jack Hughes Centre Vincent Duport 25
5 Pat Richards Winger Daryl Millard 18
6 Brett Finch Stand Off Thomas Bosc 6
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Scott Dureau 7
21 Epalahame Lauaki Prop Lopini Paea 23
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Ian Henderson 9
10 Lee Mossop Prop Remi Casty 10
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Setaimta Sa 4
12 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Louis Anderson 12
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Jason Baiteiri 24
-
14 Jeff Lima Substitute Leon Pryce 3
16 Liam Farrell Substitute David Ferriol 8
17 Chris Tuson Substitute Gregory Mounis 13
23 Ben Flower Substitute Jamal Fakir 22
- Shaun Wane Coach Trent Robinson -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 36 --- Catalan Dragons 12
Tries (6):
Thomas Leuluai
Pat Richards
Jack Hughes
Josh Charnley 2
Sean O'Loughlin
--- Tries (2):
Scott Dureau
Gregory Mounis
Goals:
Pat Richards 6/7
--- Goals:
Scott Dureau 2/2
Thomas Bosc 0/1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

11th Minute Wigan 00 Catalan 02 Penalty Goal: Scott Dureau (1/1)
15th Minute Wigan 04 Catalan 02 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Wigan 06 Catalan 02 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
18th Minute Wigan 06 Catalan 06 Try: Scott Dureau
- Wigan 06 Catalan 06 T.Bosc Missed Conversion (0/1)
31st Minute Wigan 10 Catalan 06 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 10 Catalan 06 P.Richards Missed Conversion (1/2)
38th Minute Wigan 10 Catalan 10 Try: Gregory Mounis
- Wigan 10 Catalan 12 Conversion: Scott Dureau (2/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 10 Catalan Dragons 12
50th Minute Wigan 14 Catalan 12 Try: Jack Hughes
- Wigan 16 Catalan 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/3)
55th Minute Wigan 20 Catalan 12 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 22 Catalan 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/4)
69th Minute Wigan 24 Catalan 12 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (4/5)
72nd Minute Wigan 28 Catalan 12 Try: Sean O'Loughlin
- Wigan 30 Catalan 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (5/6)
78th Minute Wigan 34 Catalan 12 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Wigan 36 Catalan 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (6/7)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 36 Catalan Dragons 12

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Mike McIlorum
2nd: Gareth Hock 3rd: Brett Finch 4th: Sean O'Loughlin 5th: Ben Flower

Referee

Richard Silverwood

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 10 Catalan 12

Match Attendance

14,464 (Away Stand Closed)

Weather

Dry. Cold Wind.

League Table at Conclusion of Stobart Super League 17 - Round 5

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Warrington Wolves 5 4 1 0 167 72 +95 9
2 Wigan Warriors 5 4 0 1 172 58 +114 8
3 Huddersfield Giants 5 4 0 1 155 86 +69 8
4 Leeds Rhinos 4 3 0 1 120 66 +54 6
5 Salford City Reds 5 3 0 2 126 114 +12 6
6 Catalan Dragons 4 3 0 1 108 100 +8 6
7 St Helens 5 2 1 2 156 121 +35 5
8 Hull FC 4 2 1 1 78 68 +10 5
9 Hull Kingston Rovers 5 2 1 2 120 122 -2 5
10 Bradford Bulls 5 2 0 3 94 141 -47 4
11 Wakefield Wildcats 4 1 0 3 70 86 -16 2
12 Castleford Tigers 5 1 0 4 74 140 -66 2
13 London Broncos 5 0 0 5 76 180 -104 0
14 Widnes Vikings 5 0 0 5 54 216 -162 0

Round 5 Results
Fri 2 Mar Castleford Tigers 14 Leeds Rhinos 36 9,237
Fri 2 Mar Salford City Reds 44 London Broncos 12 5,250
Sat 3 Mar Bradford Bulls 10 Warrington Wolves 23 11,318
Sun 4 Mar Huddersfield Giants 17 St Helens 16 9,194
Sun 4 Mar Hull FC 14 Wakefield Wildcats 10 11,105
Sun 4 Mar Hull Kingston Rovers 36 Widnes Vikings 0 7,423
Sun 4 Mar Wigan Warriors 36 Catalan Dragons 12 14,464

Comments
Carl on March 07 2012 - 12:10
Another good win. Despite the loss to Huddersfield It's been a great start to the season. We are beating teams convincingly. We appear well disciplined and organized and know how to score the points. Mustn't now let complacency enter the psyche, in the next two matches - otherwise we could slip up.
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