Playing in front of 8,101 spectators - the biggest Super League
crowd in the capital for nine years, Matty Bowen led from the front
as the former North Queensland Cowboy crossed for two tries and
added seven conversions with a fine performance.
Bowen scored in both halves and along with a Ben Flower effort
helped Wigan lead 12-6 in a tight first 40.
Catalans drew level in the first minute of the second-half with a
Scott Dureau try however Wigan maintained their composure and ran
in five tries to record a comfortable win. The tries coming from
Oliver Gildart, Josh Charnley, Dom Manfredi, Larne Patrick and
Michael McIlorum returned to the side after missing the game with
Warrington with an eye injury, Sam Powell moving to the
interchange. Larne Patrick came into the team at second-row in
place of the injured Liam Farrell.
Scott Dureau came into the halves for Catalans with Thomas Bosc
moving to the wing. Krisnan Inu started at centre in place the
suspended Ben Pomeroy.
An overcast London awaited the Warriors along with a lively crowd
made up of Wigan fans and London Rugby League enthusiasts making
for a good atmosphere as the teams entered the stadium.
Both sides looked to play contrasting styles of rugby at the start
with Catalans looking to slow proceedings down whilst Wigan tried
to keep the tempo high.
The sides traded sets and a penalty a piece before Wigan took the
lead. Close to the Catalans and looking to put on a play out wide,
Ben Flower had other ideas as he bulldozed his way over from ten
metres out in the 15th minute. Matty Bowen had the kicking duties
and made it 6-0 with the boot.
Wigan looked spritely with Larne Patrick making good yards with a
couple of great runs early on.
As the game neared the 20 minute mark the Perpignan side were
handed a chance in Wigan territory after a penalty from the Cherry
and Whites, Krisnan Inu taking full advantage going over on the
left wing. Dureau added the two, 6-all now the score.
Wigan soon gave away another penalty after the referee adjudged
they had hands in at the tackle. The Warriors felt hard done to and
Tony Clubb took the law into his own hands with a massive hit to
force a knock-on for Wigan to attain possession and clear their
A moment of genius then saw Wigan regain the lead in the 24th
minute as George Williams broke the line 40 metres out before
slipping a silky flick pass to Matty Bowen to go over for a
definite Coral try of the month contender. Bowen added the extras
again, 12-6 Wigan in front.
The Dragons were down on the scoreboard and soon down in numbers
when Louis Anderson, in possession of the ball, lashed out with his
leg and made contact with Sam Powell. Anderson sent to the sin bin
Wigan would look to take advantage but truth be told Catalans were
the ones who came closest to scoring during the ten minutes
Anderson was off the field. Julian Bousquet crashed over the line
in 33rd minute only to knock-on trying to ground the ball.
George Williams put a couple of plays on for Wigan down the left
but they were read well by the French defenders who kept them out.
No sooner had Wigan kicked off they were behind their own posts
after Scott Dureau collected a Zeb Taia offload to race over. The
Aussie half-back added the two pointer and the scores were level
with another 38 minutes of second-half action to go.
Todd Carney soon heaped pressure on his side as an attempted 40/20
went rather wrong giving Wigan a scrum on the Catalans 30 metre
line. The Warriors were unable to crash over on this occasion but
continued to build pressure.
That pressure paid off in the 50th minute when a sublime set-play
in the middle of the park saw Matty Smith feed Joel Tomkins who
found Matty Bowen back on the inside to fly over the line from 15
out. Bowen converted his own try again, Wigan regaining the lead
A smart set-play on the right for Bowen’s try and another smart one
on the left just minutes later as George Williams broke the line,
the former Ince Rose Bridge amateur grubbered the ball through for
Oliver Gildart to collect and score his second in as many games.
Bowen on target with a difficult conversion attempt, Wigan taking
control at 24-12.
As soon as Wigan looked to be taking control of the game, Catalans
were in again. This time a loose pass from Todd Carney that looked
to have missed Krisnan Inu bounced into the arms of Jordan
Sigismeau to drop over the line. Scott Dureau missing the
conversion which meant Wigan held onto a crucial two-try advantage,
24-16 now the score.
The game looked as though it could swing either way, up step Matty
The Australian full-back put in a fine solo effort, receiving a
bomb before running 70 metres to put Wigan in great field position.
His teammates duly obliged as with numbers on the short-side Josh
Charnley dived in at the corner. Bowen added another two from the
touchline, Wigan 30-16 up and looking good for the win.
The win was rubber-stamped in 68th minute when close to the
Catalans line centre Oliver Gildart put in a nice kick for Larne
Patrick to get to and score Wigan’s sixth of the afternoon. Bowen
kept up his 100% record to make it 36-16.
Oliver Gildart was at it again, another fine kick through caused
Catalans all sorts of problems forcing a drop-out. From the
resulting set Wigan pushed on, won a penalty for an offside
infringement close to the line before Dom Manfredi stepped his
opposite number to cross from close-range. Matty Bowen added
another superb conversion, this time from the right touchline.
Wigan home and hosed at 42-16 moving to within two points of Leeds
at the top of Super League.