Wigan Warriors’ trip to France began with a narrow victory in Toulouse last week but this loss to Catalans Dragons was a bitter ending to coach Matt Peet’s team-bonding break
Last Updated: 12/03/22 8:18pm
Wigan’s 10-day stay in France ended with defeat in Perpignan as they were vanquished 28-0 by Catalans Dragons.
Catalans were too big and strong, with prop Gil Dudson and hooker Michael McIlorum returning from suspension and not even the return of captain Thomas Leuluai and centre Jake Bibby could rescue anything for Wigan.
It was Sam Tomkins’ comeback that had the biggest influence on the game as the former Wigan star tormented his old club with a brilliant display with ball and boot.
Catalans dominated the early stages, camped in Wigan’s half as the Warriors struggled to retain control of the ball in slippery conditions.
And when John Bateman lost possession 10 metres from his own line, Mitchell Pearce weaved through a sleeping Wigan defence to pounce beside the posts for the first try of the game. Tomkins made it 6-0 with the conversion after 18 minutes.
Wigan were penalised for a high shot on Ben Garcia and Tomkins extended the lead with a shot at goal then struck a second after the Warriors were punished for tackling without the ball.
The Warriors hit back when Tomkins was forced into making a goal-line drop-out but yet again handling errors let the visitors down in the wet conditions.
On ne s’en lasse pas 🎶 pic.twitter.com/IYMFtWEork
— Dragons Catalans (@DragonsOfficiel) March 12, 2022
Both sides were struggling in possession as the heavens opened and when McIlorum put a grubber kick to the Wigan line, Mickael Goudemand was first to mop up and plant the ball over the line, with Tomkins’ conversion making it 16-0 at half-time.
Three penalties in a row got Wigan moving forward early in the second half but again possession let them down as the rain became heavier.
Catalans extended their lead to 22-0 when Pearce pounced for his second try as Wigan fumbled once more in their own in-goal area. Tomkins added his fifth conversion of the night.
Samisoni Langi needed video evidence to prove he had slid over the line in the 62nd minute to make it 28-0 with Tomkins’ conversion.
Wigan rallied in the final quarter but could not find the finishing touch, their handling once again fragile under pressure from a fierce Dragons defence.
There was nothing fragile about an all-in scrap instigated by Bateman and Jordan Dezaria in the final minutes, with referee Robert Hicks issuing red cards to Dezaria and Wigan’s Kaide Ellis.
A second punch-up moments later, also involving Bateman and McIlorum, created a fiery end to the match.
Source : Sky Sports