WIGAN Warriors will head into next week’s Challenge Cup Final on the back of two straight defeats as Catalan Dragons pulled away in the second half to take the spoils.
The Warriors started with intent straight from the kick off as Sam Tomkins, returning to the side from a two-week absence, shot through the line to make a trademark break.
In defence, it was more of the same as Michael McIlorum put a sweet shot on Oliver Elima to dislodge the ball.
But the much-needed crispness in attack was still only working intermittently as Pat Richards broke down the wing on after quarter of an hour but had insufficient support to get the ball away as Damien Blanch rolled the towering Australian into touch.
And the Dragons responded by posting the first points.
Frederic Vaccardi accepted a Thomas Bosc pass to arc around Josh Charnley to score a simple try but it was only after a lengthy consultation between referee Ben Thaler and video ref Steve Ganson for a possible obstruction earlier in the piece that the try was given.
Wigan struggled to complete their sets but spent much of the half camped in the Dragons’ own half until Scott Taylor accepted a Logan Tomkins pass to crash over right on the half-time bell.
Pat Richards’ conversion from bang in front of the posts ensured the Warriors would go in level at the break for a third week in a row.
In an edgy opening to the second half, the sides traded penalty goals before some sloppy indiscipline from the Warriors saw Bosc slot over two more penalty goals as the clock nudged the hour-mark.
And three minutes later the game started to slip from Shaun Wane’s men as Steve Menzies accepted Brent Webb’s pass to score.
With 10 minutes to go Eloi Pelissier took advantage of sloppy positioning on the line from Harrison Hansen and Gil Dudson to score Catalans fourth try and condemn Wigan to their fifth loss in seven Super League games.
Full report and reaction in Monday’s Wigan Evening Post.
Catalan Dragons: Brent Webb; Damien Blanch, Vincent Duport, Steve Menzies, Frederic Vaccardi; Leon Pryce, Thomas Bosc; Oliver Elima, Ian Henderson, Julian Bousquet, Kevin Larroyer, Elliot Whitehead, Greg Mounis
Replacements: Antoni Marina, Eloi Pelissier, Jamal Fakir, Lopini Paea
Wigan Warriors: Sam Tomkins; Josh Charnley, Anthony Gelling, Iain Thornley, Pat Richards; Blake Green, Matty Smith; Lee Mossop, Michael McIlorum, Gill Dudson, Harrison Hansen, Liam Farrell, Jack Hughes
Replacements: Ben Flower, Chris Tuson, Scott Taylor, Logan Tomkins
Referee: Ben Thaler
Vaccardi, Menzies, Pelissier
Goals: Richards 2