|Catalans (0) 12|
|Tries: Bousquet, Yaha Goals: Maloney 2|
|Wigan (18) 28|
|Tries: Gildart, French, Burgess 2, Powell Goals: Hardaker 4|
Wigan Warriors spoiled the Catalans Dragons’ Super League homecoming with victory in front of a 5,000 crowd at the Stade Gibert Brutus in Perpignan.
The first post-restart game to be staged in front of fans ended in huge disappointment for the home side.
Oliver Gildart, Bevan French and Joe Burgess scored first-half Wigan tries to establish a comfortable 18-0 lead.
Burgess’ second and a Sam Powell effort sealed it for Wigan, in spite of Julian Bousquet and Fouad Yaha’s tries.
This victory was an impressive return to form for Wigan after their defeat by Hull KR last week, even without the talismanic Sean O’Loughlin who was grounded in England after a family case of Covid-19, and extended their run of Perpignan triumphs to five on the spin.
Sizzling sunshine, soaring temperatures and a partisan crowd were all overcome by the Warriors, whose disciplined display frustrated their opponents.
They also soaked up a significant period of pressure during the opening half in which they held out in the face of repeat sets – and scored a try on the back of it to compound the Dragons’ frustration.
Gildart got them off to a flier when he muscled in early on, and Tommy Leuluai orchestrated a superb sweeping move which led to Burgess teeing up French for a score.
Burgess’ first had a hint of controversy, coming after Joe Greenwood looked to have batted the ball out of the hands of prop Sam Kasiano.
French returned the favour for Burgess on the back of a searing break and Powell’s scamper in from close range sewed up the win.
Steve McNamara’s Catalans, in action in Super League for the first time since 15 August, looked sluggish at times and were unable to break down Wigan for long periods.
The frustration was evident on the face of James Maloney and Sam Tomkins, the Dragons’ chief playmakers, but the hosts eventually conjured up some points late on.
Bousquet crashed his way to the line before Yaha was put away out wide to give the scoreline more respectability.
Catalans: S. Tomkins; Tierney, Langi, Folau, Yaha; Maloney, Albert; Casty, Da Costa, Bousquet, J. Tomkins, Whitley, Garcia
Interchanges: Jullien, Baitieri, Goudemand, Kasiano
Wigan: French; Manfredi, Hardaker, Gildart, J. Burgess; Hastings, Leuluai; Havard, Powell, Bullock, Isa, Farrell, Partington
Interchanges: G. Burgess, Greenwood, Jo. Shorrocks, Smith
Referee: Chris Kendall