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Match Report: Wigan 24 Catalans 22
Posted by Bilko on July 10 2009 - 22:49

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Friday 10th July 2009
Wigan Warriors 24 Catalan Dragons 22
JJB Stadium, Wigan
Engage Super League 14 - Round 20 of 27
Kick Off 8:00pm

- Wigan       - Catalan    
21 Cameron Phelps       1 Clint Greenshields    
2 Amos Roberts  T      3 Steven Bell  T   
3 Darrell Goulding  T      12 Jason Croker    
4 George Carmont  T      15 Jean-Phillippe Baile  T   
5 Pat Richards  T2   G2    5 Dimitri Pelo  T   
25 Sam Tomkins       26 Greg Bird    
7 Thomas Leuluai       6 Thomas Bosc    G3 
15 Andy Coley       8 David Ferriol    
9 Mark Riddell       9 Casey McGuire    
19 Paul Prescott       10 Jérôme Guisset    
12 Phil Bailey       16 Olivier Elima  T   
16 Harrison Hansen       17 Cyril Gossard    
14 Joel Tomkins       23 Jason Ryles    
Interchange:
8 Stuart Fielden       7 Shane Perry    
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina       13 Grégory Mounis    
20 Karl Pryce       22 Jamal Fakir    
24 Lee Mossop       24 Rémi Casty    

Report: 

It wasn't the best of games but it could prove to be the biggest result of Wigan's season having fought back from 14-22 down in the final quarter to win 24-22 against a physical Catalans Dragons side.

It's a big win for so many reasons. Not only because we overcame our injury problems but for the fact it takes us 5th, albeit with others still yet to play this weekend, and also keeps Catalans off our backs. A loss tonight and they would have been level with us in the table. Now we have a four point cushion over them which is better to have than not with games against Leeds and St Helens at the back end of the month.

This was a really gutsy Wigan win. They had to dig deep against a tough outfit, but our efforts were made all the more difficult with another poor display from Pat Richards in the goal kicking department. He didn't have an easy kick all night in fairness but kicking only 2 goals from 5 almost cost us the match.

Wigan began the match dominating territory in the opening quarter but they just couldn't find a way over the line. Pat Richards did get over out wide in the fourth minute but his effort was brought back for a forward pass.

Catalans were conceding penalty after penalty and Wigan eventually took advantage of the easy territory in the 22nd minute. Cameron Phelps offloaded out of a tackle to Thomas Leuluai who sent George Carmont over in the left corner. Richards missed the conversion - 4-0 Wigan.

Three minutes later Wigan scored again after Clint Greenshields was deemed to have knocked on in front of his own posts. He disputed the call which saw referee Ben Thaler give the penalty rather than a scrum but despite being bang in front, Wigan took the tap. Wigan caught the French side cold - Leuluai sent Richards over and Greenshields again took the opportunity to complain to Thaler but he was having none of it and sent him into the sin bin. Meanwhile Richards converted to make it 10-0 to Wigan.

10 minutes with an extra man should have provided Wigan with an opportunity to take full control of the game before half time but it was Catalans who went on the offensive with Wigan conceding two penalties close to their own line. It was pretty dumb rugby from Wigan and Catalans fully deserved the try they got just before they returned to full strength. Steven Bell it was who went over in the right hand corner. Wigan protested furiously that he had been bundled into touch. Not sure if he was or not but whoever the Wigan tackler was made a brave effort to try and stop him but it was deemed that he had grounded the ball first.

Leuluai hadn't learned from Greenshields' mouthing off and he too was dispatched to the sin bin for protesting too much, just as Catalans returned to full strength. Thomas Bosc also hit a beautiful conversion off the touchline to make it 10-6.

Then a minute before half time Catalans showed Wigan how to play against 12 men with a neat try down the left hand side. Dimitri Pelo broke clear before finding Olivier Elima on his inside for the try. Bosc hit another superb conversion to give the French a 12-10 half time lead. Wigan had been given a big lesson in how to convert territory into points because for the first half hour it was all Cherry & White but the scoreboard certainly didn't reflect that,

Darrell Goulding was playing for Salford against Wigan at the JJB last month but he returned from his loan spell tonight looking fresh and raring to go. His 8 games at the Willows seem to have done him the world of good as he set up Wigan's first try of the second half. He sent Amos Roberts over in the corner but Richards failed to convert off the touchline so Wigan's lead was a slender 14-12 advantage.

Catalans then had a 10 minute spell of domination which perhaps should have won them the game. Greg Bird may be banned from working for a UK club by Border Agencies and also facing jail for assaulting a female but he is a pivotal player for the Dragons and he began to run the show at this point.

Bosc put in a neat grubber which Bird touched down to make it 16-14 to the French then Bosc hit another sweet conversion to make it 18-14. Then a shocking defensive effort from Amos Roberts allowed Jean-Phillippe Baile to increase the lead. Baile had took a big knock moments earlier and was still feeling the effects when he swatted away Roberts who went far to high. Amos wasn't the only guilty man, two more would be tacklers made poor efforts. A soft, soft try. Bosc though missed the conversion and in the end it would be a crucial miss.

So going into the final quarter of the match Wigan could have mentally collapsed with a 22-14 deficit. They'd been in this kind of position so many times at the JJB this year and more often than not they'd not found a way to win but tonight they did.

For once they were patient and that patience was rewarded with a second try of the night for Richards on 64 minutes. Cameron Phelps was the provider and Pat converted this one to bring the deficit down to two points.

Wigan may have struggled to convert the early match pressure against the Dragons but it was proving to be like a quiz show money in the bank scenario with those early efforts allowing us to cash in on a Catalans defence that was fatiguing badly. Phelps was the provider again, this time sending Goulding over for what proved to be the match winner. Richards missed another kick off the touchline though so Wigan had 6 minutes left to defend a 24-22 lead.

Pressure mounted straight away when Catalans players out jumped Joel Tomkins to win a short kick off. They hammered at the Wigan line and forced a drop out but a mistake eventually came to relieve the pressure. The final moments of the match saw Wigan attacking but the hooter went before they probably would have scored to seal the game. It was a huge relief let me tell you!

But all in all it was a huge win for us. Bit of sweet revenge after they came back late to beat us at the JJB last season. I must correct Phil Veivers though who commented about us finally winning three games in a row in the South Stand Bar post match. We won four in a row earlier in the season when we beat Celtic, Wakefield (twice) and St Helens in late April, early May. We need another big effort now against Bradford to make it four in a row again and send us into three huge games against Leeds, St Helens and then the cup semi final full of confidence.

Few other thoughts. When Leuluai was binned, Noble brought Karl Pryce off the bench in at Stand Off which was baffling to say the least. Cameron Phelps had a good game and I think he may suit the role better. That would mean sticking Richards at full back and Pryce out on the wing but all that disruption is better than Pryce at Stand Off. He just looked so out of place.

Also thought Lee Mossop had a solid game on his return. He too looks to have hugely benefited from his 9 match loan spell with first Barrow then Huddersfield. Gareth Hock may be facing a two year suspension but we may have a ready made replacement in Mossop. Long way to go yet before he establishes himself but their are positive signs at the moment.

Scoring: 
23rd Minute Wigan 04 Catalans 00 Try: George Carmont
- Wigan 04 Catalans 00 P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
26th Minute Wigan 08 Catalans 00 Try: Pat Richards
26th Minute Catalans Sin Bin Clint Greenshields (Dissent)
- Wigan 10 Catalans 04 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/2)
35th Minute Wigan 10 Catalans 04 Try: Steven Bell
35th Minute Wigan Sin Bin Thomas Leuluai (Dissent)
- Wigan 10 Catalans 06 Conversion: Thomas Bosc (1/1)
39th Minute Wigan 10 Catalans 10 Try: Olivier Elima
- Wigan 10 Catalans 12 Conversion: Thomas Bosc (2/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 10 Catalans Dragons 12
45th Minute Wigan 14 Catalans 12 Try: Amos Roberts
- Wigan 14 Catalans 12 P.Richards Missed Conversion (1/3)
50th Minute Wigan 14 Catalans 16 Try: Jean-Phillippe Baile
- Wigan 14 Catalans 18 Conversion: Thomas Bosc (3/3)
57th Minute Wigan 14 Catalans 22 Try: Dimitri Pelo
- Wigan 14 Catalans 22 T.Bosc Missed Conversion (3/4)
64th Minute Wigan 18 Catalans 22 Try: Pat Richards (2)
- Wigan 20 Catalans 22 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/4)
73rd Minute Wigan 24 Catalans 22 Try: Darrell Goulding
- Wigan 24 Catalans 22 P.Richards Missed Conversion (2/5)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 24 Catalans Dragons 22
Referee: 

Ben Thaler

Attendance: 

11,543

Super League 14 - Round 20 Results
Fri 10 July Wakefield Wildcats 30 Leeds Rhinos 32 6,425
Fri 10 July Wigan Warriors 24 Catalan Dragons 22 11,543
Sat 11 July Harlequins 16 Huddersfield Giants 32 3,916
Sat 11 July Celtic Crusaders 25 Salford City Reds 12 3,009
Sat 11 July Warrington Wolves 26 St Helens 40 12,075
Sun 12 July Hull Kingston Rovers 32 Bradford Bulls 12 8,206
Sun 12 July Castleford Tigers 40 Hull FC 18 8,297

Engage Super League 14 Table - After This Round
- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 20 16 0 4 615 336 +279 32
2 Leeds Rhinos 20 15 0 5 555 343 +212 30
3 Huddersfield Giants 20 13 0 7 484 322 +162 26
4 Hull Kingston Rovers 20 12 1 7 476 386 +90 25
5 Wigan Warriors 20 10 0 10 490 405 +85 20
6 Harlequins 19 10 0 9 449 409 +40 20
7 Wakefield Wildcats 20 10 0 10 477 475 +2 20
8 Warrington Wolves 20 10 0 10 451 483 -32 20
9 Castleford Tigers 20 10 0 10 458 505 -47 20
10 Catalans Dragons 19 8 0 11 431 498 -67 16
11 Hull FC 20 8 0 12 390 490 -100 16
12 Bradford Bulls 19 6 1 12 414 524 -110 13
13 Salford City Reds 19 6 0 13 306 516 -210 12
14 Celtic Crusaders 20 3 0 17 289 593 -304 6

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