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Wigan come from behind to sink Catalans Dragons

Warriors overcome 19-point deficit to win in Perpignan.

Wigan Warriors v Salford Red Devils – Challenge Cup – Semi Final – Halliwell Jones Stadium
Wigan Warriors v Salford Red Devils – Challenge Cup – Semi Final – Halliwell Jones Stadium

Wigan came from 23-4 down to defeat the Catalans Dragons 32-23 in Perpignan.

The home side were sitting pretty in the 51st minute when Tony Gigot kicked a penalty to give the hosts a 19-point lead.

However, the Warriors fought back to score 24 unanswered points in 14 minutes to win this Betfred Super League contest.

The opening stages saw the hosts start brightly before Joe Burgess had a try ruled out for an earlier obstruction by John Bateman on Benajmin Jullien.

Jullien who opened the scoring in the 13th minute, Samisoni Langi and Gigot combined to send Jullien away down the right and the French international touched down to the right of the posts. Gigot added the conversion.

Gigot increased the Catalans’ lead to 8-0 in the 25th minute when he kicked a penalty from 18 metres.

With three minutes of the first half remaining, the home side extended their lead further. Sam Tomkins’ grubber was collected on the fly by David Mead, who raced 98 metres to score under the posts to make Gigot’s conversion a formality.

Gigot added a drop goal on the half time hooter to give the Catalans a 15-0 lead at the break.

Catalans continued their momentum in the second half. In the opening minutes they forcing a goal-line drop out then Langi took on the Wigan line before giving a smart one-handed offload to the supporting Benjamin Garcia who touched down. Gigot again converted.

Wigan trailed 21-0 but they were given a lifeline in the 47th minute, a flowing move from left to right involving Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Powell and Sam Tomkins – who threw a quick hands pass – saw Dan Sarginson touch down in the right corner for his first try of the season. Tomkins missed the conversion from the touchline.

Gigot added another penalty in the 51st minute to extend the Catalans’ lead to 19  points, before Wigan touched down again from the restart, smart play from O’Loughlin got Oliver Gildart free down the left wing before smart interplay between him, O’Loughlin and Liam Farrell saw Gildart touch down in the left corner. Tomkkins converted to reduce the deficit to 13 points.

Wigan had the momentum heading into the final quarter and a short side play resulted in Joe Burgess touching down in the left corner from Farrell’s pass. Tomkins missed the conversion.

There was another Wigan try on the hour, a short pass from O’Loughlin drew in the Catalans defenders and Farrell scored down the left, before Tomkins converted to leave the visitors just three points adrift.

Tomkins’ try in the  65th minute saw the Warriors take the lead. The ball was moved from right to left in a flowing move – and  the scorer then converted to give  the Warriors a three point lead.

With eight minutes remaining Dragons’ Mickael Simon was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle on John Bateman.

With two minutes remaining Tony Clubb added a short range effort to seal the two points for the visitors, the substitute touching down to the left of the posts.

Tomkins added his fourth goal of the game to complete the scoring and round off a 32-23 victory for the visitors.

Press Association

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