8 point lead with 4 minutes to go - you shouldn't really lose. But
two questionable calls which went against Wigan was massive in the
30 metres from our own line and hugging the
touchline, it looked to most of the east stand as if a tackle had
already been completed but the Catalans players picked up Pat
Richards and bundled him into touch. Referee Klein gave the
decision in Catalans favour and that allowed them to gain the
impetus to win the game in the final few minutes. I'd love to see
it again because it seems like we were badly done to.
Then for the winning try Mark Calderwood looked to have been
taken out in the air but Klein allowed play on and with no winger
in attendance Dimitri Pelo touched down for victory.
If the ref is to blame that's fair enough - without seeing it
again I don't know. But I've always believed Klein is a joke
referee. At the end of the day we robbed the French blind in
France last year so revenge will be sweet for them. I can't really
argue against them being lucky - they were terrific and what was
clearly evident tonight was the fact they never laid down and
died. At 20-10 and 24-16 they would have been beaten last year but
not in 2008. They kept going and reaped there rewards right at the
But it's so, so annoying from our point of view because we
could have put ourselves in a very strong position with sealing
victory but the loss sets us back and wastes last weeks hard
fought win at Leeds.
In the match preview I talked about how you need to beat this side
early. But Wigan started poorly and Catalans took the lead on 6
minutes. Clint Greenshields went straight
through a gap on the left to score. Bosc converted well from the
touchline and soon added an in front penalty goal to make it 8-0.
The French were looking great to be honest at this point. They
were dominating Wigan with great defence - which was forcing us
into mistakes. But they could not improve on 8-0 and Wigan would
soon came back with a try from Pat Richards.
Iafeta Paleaaesina offloaded to Joel Tomkins, before George
Carmont sent Richards over in the corner. He missed off the
touchline though so it was 8-4 to the French after 27 minutes.
Wigan almost levelled the scores in the
35th minute when prop Eamon O'Carroll released Calderwood clean
through down the middle but Klein gave a borderline forward pass.
Wigan though would level before the break with two quickfire
penalty goals from Richards in the space of three minutes made it
8-8. There was still time in the half though for a on the hooter
penalty goal from Bosc to make it Wigan 8 Catalans 10 at the
With a close score I was quite confident ahead of the second
half and Wigan's early efforts went on the justify that. After
defending out two Catalans sets, Wigan took the lead for the first
time when scrum-half Thomas Leuluai jinked through and put
O'Carroll for his first ever Wigan try. Richards converted for
That lead was stretched in the 53rd minute when George Carmont
hacked on a loose pass from the Catalans inside their own 20 for
the touchdown. Richards conversion made it 20-10 and you were left
really confident that Wigan would kick on.
But like I said Catalans never gave in and hit back in the 58th
minute. Field position was created by a knock on from Mark
Calderwood and the Dragons spread the ball right for Greenshields
to bring winger Justin Murphy inside to score. Bosc converted to
make it 20-16 Wigan.
Wigan would restore a two try lead when Richards was sent over
for his second by Leuluai. He failed to convert though but an 8
point lead looked strong enough with 13 minutes left.
But then came that call against Wigan in which Klein adjudged
Richards had been bundled into touch inside his own half when a
tackle looked to have been completed.
This allowed Catalans great field position and eventually ex
Warrior Jerome Guisset made it an tense finish by crashing over in
the 76th minute, with Bosc adding his fifth goal. 24-22 Wigan with
3 minutes left.
Wigan were desperately hanging on as the clock was removed from
the scoreboard to signify injury time. The French were battering
the Wigan line and on a last tackle, the impressive Bosc hoisted a
kick to the corner and with Calderwood appearing to be tackled in
the air, their was no one out wide to stop Dane Carlaw from
scoring and nicking two points off Wigan. The conversion was
missed but it didn't matter - time was up and the French ended the
only 100% home record remaining in this years strong Super League