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Match Report: Wigan 24 Catalans 26
Posted by Bilko on April 11 2008 - 22:11

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons. Engage Super League XIII Rd 11.
Friday 11th April 2008. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Thoughts on the Match

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 final outcome.

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 death

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.

Story of the Match

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 break.

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 14-10 Wigan.

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 competition.

Game Breaking Moment

Two crucial calls against Wigan in the dying minutes gave the French the impetus to win.

Top Player

Eamon O'Carroll - Excellent performance capped by his career try.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "I am very disappointed with the manner we lost. We didn't start the game well, we looked a little bit flat for the first 20 minutes. We found some enthusiasm and I thought in the second half we did enough but we couldn't put the nail in the coffin. A couple of things changed the momentum and they got into our half. It was a bit of a sickening blow to lose in the last minute like we did. We gave a penalty away and the referee gave a couple of calls, rightly or wrongly, we need to look at them and they found a reason to win. We snatched a defeat from the jaws of victory. We didn't finish them off. It's a huge lesson.  We didn't finish the game as strongly as we should being 10 points in front. I thought we had done enough to come away with the spoils but you are always worried if you don't do the right things at the right end of the field and it can come back and haunt you and it certainly did tonight."

Catalans Coach Mick Potter: "I thought (Wigan) were on top in the second half and the game had just slipped away from us. We had no energy there, but somehow we found it, and we came up with a good play at the death. It was great to get the two points, but they gave everyone a heart attack. They found some energy. We looked down and out in the second half, and the body language of the players suggested they had nothing left. To find something late in the second half was fantastic and a credit to the players. The are starting to believe in themselves and they are finding the energy when perhaps a year or two ago they couldn't find that energy."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Catalans -
1 Richard Mathers Full Back Clint Greenshields 1
2 Mark Calderwood Winger Justin Murphy 2
14 Liam Colbon Centre Cyril Stacul 23
4 George Carmont Centre Sebastien Raguin 11
5 Pat Richards Winger Dimitri Pelo 4
25 Thomas Coyle Stand Off Adam Mogg 4
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Thomas Bosc 6
8 Stuart Fielden Prop Jerome Guisset 10
17 Mike McIlorum Hooker Aaron Gorrell 9
15 Andy Coley Prop Alex Chan 19
12 Phil Bailey 2nd Row Jason Croker 12
16 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Gregory Mounis 13
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Dane Carlaw 14
- - - - -
9 Mick Higham Substitute Casey McGuire 7
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Substitute David Ferriol 8
22 Joel Tomkins Substitute Olivier Elima 16
24 Eamon O'Carroll Substitute Remi Casty 24

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 24 --- Catalans Dragons 26
Tries (4):
Pat Richards 2
Eamon O'Carroll
George Carmont
--- Tries (4):
Clint Greenshields
Justin Murphy
Jerome Guisset
Dane Carlaw
Goals:
Pat Richards 4/6
--- Goals:
Thomas Bosc 5/6

Scoring and Incident Pattern

7th Minute Wigan 00 Catalans 04 Try: Clint Greenshields
- Wigan 00 Catalans 06 Conversion: Thomas Bosc (1/1)
17th Minute Wigan 00 Catalans 08 Penalty Goal: Thomas Bosc (2/2)
26th Minute Wigan 04 Catalans 08 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 04 Catalans 08 P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
38th Minute Wigan 06 Catalans 08 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (1/2)
40th Minute Wigan 08 Catalans 08 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (2/3)
40th Minute Wigan 08 Catalans 10 Penalty Goal: Thomas Bosc (3/3)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 08 Catalans Dragons 10
47th Minute Wigan 12 Catalans 10 Try: Eamon O'Carroll
- Wigan 14 Catalans 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/4)
53rd Minute Wigan 18 Catalans 10 Try: George Carmont
- Wigan 20 Catalans 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (4/5)
58th Minute Wigan 20 Catalans 14 Try: Justin Murphy
- Wigan 20 Catalans 16 Conversion: Thomas Bosc (4/4)
66th Minute Wigan 24 Catalans 16 Try: Pat Richards (2)
- Wigan 24 Catalans 16 P.Richards Missed Conversion (4/6)
76th Minute Wigan 24 Catalans 20 Try: Jerome Guisset
- Wigan 24 Catalans 22 Conversion: Thomas Bosc (5/5)
80th Minute Wigan 24 Catalans 26 Try: Dane Carlaw
- Wigan 24 Catalans 26 T.Bosc Missed Conversion (5/6)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 24 Catalans Dragons 26

Referee

Ashley Klein

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 8 Catalans 7

Goal Line Drop Outs Forced

Wigan 1 Catalans 0

Match Attendance

13,044

Weather

Dry.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 13 Round 11

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Leeds Rhinos 11 9 0 2 326 116 +210 18
2 Wigan Warriors 11 7 0 4 239 231 +8 14
3 Catalans Dragons 11 6 1 4 233 250 -17 14
4 St Helens 11 6 0 5 312 239 +73 12
5 Bradford Bulls 11 6 0 5 261 216 +45 12
6 Warrington Wolves 11 6 0 5 247 240 +6 12
7 Harlequins 11 6 0 5 233 271 -38 12
8 Hull Kingston Rovers 11 5 1 5 211 222 -11 11
9 Wakefield Wildcats 11 5 0 6 198 244 -46 10
10 Huddersfield Giants 11 3 1 7 231 250 -19 7
11 Hull FC 11 3 1 7 187 249 -62 7
12 Castleford Tigers 11 2 0 9 193 343 -150 4

Round 11 Results
Fri 11 Apr Castleford Tigers 12 Hull FC 32 8,136
Fri 11 Apr St Helens 58 Harlequins 12 8,553
Fri 11 Apr Leeds Rhinos 32 Warrington Wolves 12 16,327
Fri 11 Apr Wigan Warriors 24 Catalan Dragons 26 13,044
Sat 12 Apr Huddersfield Giants 16 Wakefield Wildcats 18 5,693
Sun 13 Apr Hull Kingston Rovers 20 Bradford Bulls 18 8,377

Comments
catalancs on April 12 2008 - 13:24
it's alright blaming the ref but the truth is that we should have had the game wrapped up and the 2 points in the bag. i like noble because unlike some other coaches he doesnt dress up his comments and paper over cracks. one last thing, catalans are a very stong team who play some really good rugby so lets not panic as we only lost by 2 and bosc kicked one more goal than pat. ps would love to see bosc at wigan, the lad's all class.
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