Catalans Dragons 12 Wigan Warriors 28: Five things we learned

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Five things we learned from Wigan's 28-12 victory at Catalans Dragons...

1. Wigan may have had some fortune for their opening try - when the referee missed an apparent forward pass - but there was nothing lucky about this victory.

It was a dominant and impressive performance which proved the perfect tonic to the loss against Hull KR a week earlier.

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The squad had left Robin Park at 6am that day for their French raid, and handled the travel, fatigue, partisan 5,000 crowd and French heat well.

Joe Burgess scores a tryJoe Burgess scores a try
Joe Burgess scores a try

And the win edged them back up to third spot, level on win percentage with the two sides above them.

2. Jackson Hastings, Thomas Leuluai and Sam Powell all made wonderful contributions but it was their collective guidance which really impressed.

They marshalled the forwards, selected and executed the right plays and kicked well. They looked in-sync, with Bevan French also linking well into that spine of playmakers.

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Yet for all of their good work with the ball, Wigan's attitude was typified by a spell in the first half when they defended five repeat sets on their line.

3. How good was it to see Joe Burgess and Oliver Gildart reunited on the left edge?

They hadn't played together for around a year, yet their slick combination - which has been nurturing since they were team-mates at St Edmund Arrowsmith High - was one of the highlights. Gildart scored one try and Burgess went over for two, while they also laid on another for French.

Burgess is bound for Salford at the end of this year - a move which has still not been confirmed - but with Liam Marshall injured, he has a chance to ensure his farewell season from his hometown club is successful.

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Adrian Lam also has the option of playing centres Jake Bibby - who has done well in his debut season at the club - and Chris Hankinson on the wing.

4. The win came at a cost, with prop Joe Bullock suffering a suspected broken hand.

He was able to fly home with the squad last night and will have the injury assessed today or tomorrow. Any absence would hurt the Warriors, who are missing Ben Flower and Morgan Smithies to suspension and Tony Clubb to injury.

And mentioning props, George Burgess was a surprise inclusion, given Lam had said he was doubtful with a hip injury which has niggled throughout his debut season at Wigan.

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And the marquee recruit seemed to be struggling with the problem, making just five carries, the fewest of all the props. Hopefully he can recover from the injury quickly and play a big role for the side over the next two months.

5. A word on Catalans, who had been in decent form recently.

There was mitigation for their clunky display - they had been in isolation until Wednesday, and key players Josh Drinkwater and Micky McIlorum were absent.

But to his credit, coach Steve McNamara refused to seek excuses, saying disruptions and rotations are inevitable during this coronavirus-hit campaign, and they needed to be adjust better.