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|Saturday 20th September 2008|
|Catalan Dragons 26 Wigan Warriors 50|
|Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan|
|Engage Super League 13 Elimination Play Off|
Kick Off 7:00pm (6:00pm UK)
|1||Richard Mathers||T||1||Clint Greenshields|
|2||Mark Calderwood||T2||2||Justin Murphy||T|
|21||Cameron Phelps||3||John Wilson||T|
|4||George Carmont||T||11||Sébastien Raguin|
|5||Pat Richards||T2||G7||5||Dimitri Pelo||T2|
|6||Trent Barrett||T2||4||Adam Mogg|
|7||Thomas Leuluai||6||Thomas Bosc||G3|
|8||Stuart Fielden||19||Alex Chan|
|9||Mick Higham||7||Casey McGuire|
|15||Andy Coley||16||Olivier Elima||T|
|12||Phil Bailey||22||Jamal Fakir|
|16||Harrison Hansen||12||Jason Croker|
|22||Joel Tomkins||14||Dane Carlaw|
|10||Iafeta Paleaaesina||10||Jérôme Guisset|
|11||Gareth Hock||T||18||Vincent Duport|
|24||Eamon O'Carroll||24||Rémi Casty|
|32||Tim Smith||26||Jean-Phillipe Baile|
Clinical Wigan scored nine tries to emerge victorious from a pulsating sudden-death play-off against plucky Catalans Dragons and set up an engage Super League final eliminator against Leeds at Headingley on Friday.
Pat Richards grabbed 20 points - his haul including two tries - as the Warriors survived an early battering to claim only their second victory in Perpignan.
Man of the match Trent Barrett and Mark Calderwood also went over twice apiece in the second half, with George Carmont, Richie Mathers and Gareth Hock also grounding for scores.
Wigan's play-off adventure is extended for another week at least and coach Brian Noble continues to have the magic touch in these end-of-season games.
He has a prolific record in the play-offs, having guided Bradford to five consecutive Grand Finals and steering Wigan to within 80 minutes of Old Trafford a year ago.
For the brave Dragons, the success story of Super League XIII, the show is over but they were game opposition for the Warriors before running out of steam after the break.
Winger Dimitri Pelo scored two of their five tries in a match that proved to be the last for founder players Alex Chan and John Wilson.
Coach Mick Potter will also leave the club as he succeeds Daniel Anderson at St Helens from next season.
Buoyed by their superb 46-8 win over Warrington last week and backed by a fervent home support, the Dragons - featuring in their maiden play-off campaign - enjoyed a barnstorming first 20 minutes.
Making midfield breaks at will, it came as something of a surprise their first score only arrived in the 19th minute.
Flying winger Pelo sped away down the left, side-stepped full-back Mathers with some ease and cruised over in the corner to give his side a deserved lead.
Up to that point, the Warriors had been pinned back in their own half and were struggling to cope. But in their first real attack, just minutes after conceding the try, they hit back.
Carmont, recently named in this season's Super League dream team, ran on to a clever Hock offload to scurry over and reduce the deficit.
Richards surprisingly missed a simple conversion to leave the score at 6-4 but with Iafeta Paleaaesina making a nuisance of himself off the bench, the Warriors were starting to make hay.
They went into the lead with eight minutes left of the half; Tim Smith and Cameron Phelps combining down the right to send in Barrett and moments later, Mathers breezed through a gap down the right channel to cross and give Wigan an eight-point lead.
Between those tries, Casey McGuire had a try scrubbed out for the Dragons, who were penalised for an earlier high tackle on Hock.
But when Pelo scored his second try of the evening down the left on the stroke of half-time, there were just four points in it at 14-10.
Richards had a try disallowed early in the second half as he was in an offside position when running onto Barrett's kick but he was soon able to celebrate.
Clint Greenshields lost possession when trying to offload in a tackle and Richards picked up before setting off on an 80-yard spring to the Dragons line. He converted his own score and Wigan were 20-10 up and in control.
The hosts' party was threatening to go flat but Olivier Elima raised hopes by barging through some powder-puff tackling near the posts to ground for a converted score in the 50th minute.
The Gilbert Brutus Stadium was then rocking when Wilson made a stunning piercing run before passing out to Justin Murphy to apply the finish.
It was now 20-20 and the tries were coming thick and fast.
Wigan regained the lead when Carmont fed Richards in the corner for the Australian's second try of the match, and he added a conversion and a penalty to extend the advantage to eight points.
And the death knell was sounded by the Warriors when they scored two tries in quick succession.
Phil Bailey made the most of an overlap to lay a pass off to Barrett, who arrowed into the corner, before a Greenshields handling error was pounced on by winger Calderwood on the same right flank.
Hock and Wilson then swapped tries but Wigan were home and dry with 15 minutes left, Calderwood adding gloss with his second at the death.
2008 Super League Play Offs - Week 2
Friday 19th September 2008
Saturday 20th September 2008