Wigan Warriors V Catalans Dragons preview: Here is some of the key information ahead of this Saturday's Magic Weekend clash in Newcastle

Wigan Warriors face Catalans Dragons at the Magic Weekend on Saturday afternoon.
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The two teams meet each other in the second game of the first day of the event at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park (K.O. 3.45pm).

Matty Peet’s side head into this fixture on the back of last week’s golden point victory over Hull KR at Craven Park.

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Here is some of the key information ahead of this weekend’s game:

Wigan Warriors take on Catalans Dragons at Newcastle United's St James' ParkWigan Warriors take on Catalans Dragons at Newcastle United's St James' Park
Wigan Warriors take on Catalans Dragons at Newcastle United's St James' Park

The opposition

Catalans Dragons sit third in the Super League table with nine wins in their opening 13 games.

The Perpignan club are unbeaten in the last three Super League outings, but were recently knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Warrington Wolves.

Their last game came against Wakefield Trinity at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, where they produced a 36-6 victory over the bottom-place team.

Wigan Warriors beat Hull KR on golden point in their last outingWigan Warriors beat Hull KR on golden point in their last outing
Wigan Warriors beat Hull KR on golden point in their last outing

The coach

Steve McNamara has been Catalans head coach since 2018.

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In his first season at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, he guided the club to their first ever Challenge Cup, beating Warrington Wolves at Wembley.

Prior to his time in France, his previous Super League position was with Bradford Bulls between 2006 and 2010.

The 51-year-old also spent six years as England head coach, guiding his country to a World Cup semi-final in 2013.

Key men

Tom Johnstone is the Dragons’ top scorer so far this season, with 14 tries under his belt in the opening 13 rounds of Super League.

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Meanwhile, Tyrone May will also be key for the French side, as he looks to build on his eight assists so far this season.

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Previous Meetings

Wigan went head-to-head with Catalans at the DW Stadium back in March.

It was the visitors who came out on top with a 18-10 victory, following a disappointing performance from the Warriors.

The two teams also met twice last season.

Catalans came out on top when Wigan travelled to Perpignan last March, winning 28-0 at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, in what was Peet’s first defeat as Wigan coach.

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Meanwhile, when they met at the DW Stadium, McNamara named a youthful Dragons side, as the Warriors came away with a 48-4 victory.

Liam Marshall and Bevan French both scored braces, while Harry Smith, Kaide Ellis, Ethan Havard and Jake Bibby all crossed for tries as well.

Team of the week inclusions

French, Marshall and Farrell were all included in the Super League team of the week for round 13.

The latter of the three went over for a hat-trick in the 26-22 victory over Hull KR, including the golden point winner.

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Catalans’ Johnstone was also selected after scoring a brace in their win against Wakefield.

Super League history

The Warriors have overcome the Dragons 30 times in Super League history.

Meanwhile, the Perpignan club have 12 wins to their name against Wigan.

There has also been one draw between the pair.

Form guide

Wigan Warriors-W W L L W

Catalans Dragons- W L W W L

Where to watch

The Magic Weekend is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena.

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Coverage for the game between Wigan and Catalans is scheduled to start at 3.30pm.

Elsewhere this weekend

Wigan’s PDRL side will also be in action at the Magic Weekend on Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors take on Salford during the interval of the game between the Red Devils’ first team and Hull KR.

A full PDRL Festival is also being hosted at Kingston Park alongside the Learning Disability Super League- which will include nine different teams showcasing the very best of inclusive rugby league.

Final thoughts

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Wigan have plenty to improve on heading into this fixture.

Despite coming away from Craven Park with two points last week, there were still plenty of errors throughout and the result could’ve easily gone the other way.

There were moments where they just gave away possession cheaply.

A couple of loose passes from Harry Smith resulted in the ball being lost, alongside a few poor kicks where the ball went straight out of play.

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It wasn’t really the halfback’s night, with only one successful conversion to his name as well.

His performances have dipped in the last couple of weeks, but we all know what he’s capable of.

Form is temporary but class is permanent.

Smith has already demonstrated this season just how important he is to Wigan when he’s at his best, and it won’t take him long to get back on track.

For all of their faults last week, the Warriors deserve credit for the character they showed to get the win.

Heading into the final 10 minutes they were 22-14 down.

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It looked as if it was going to be another frustrating fixture at Craven Park.

Even when Marshall’s try closed the gap, it still seemed like a big ask.

Then, with seconds remaining on the clock, Abbas Miski dove over for a sensational try in the corner to level the scores and send the game to golden point.

From there, they once again needed to keep themselves composed.

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Rovers had the first attempt, with Mikey Lewis hitting the post, but it was a moment of French brilliance that decided it.

The fullback saw a gap in the Hull KR defence and broke free, before providing the assist for Farrell’s winner.

A long turnaround came at the perfect time for the Warriors, after their recent busy schedule and the number of absentees in their squad.

Catalans pose a big threat, and their quality is well know, but it should be a close game at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.