Catalans 20 Wigan 12

Sam Tomkins evades the Dragons' defence
Sam Tomkins evades the Dragons' defence
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WARRIORS slumped to their second defeat of the season at the hands of Catalans Dragons as Daryl Millard crossed for two tries against the Super League champions.

In a match played at the Yves du Manoir Stadium in Montpellier, which was staging rugby league for the first time, Dragons led 14-12 at the break and sealed victory through Millard’s second try 10 minutes from the end.

Catalan began brightly and only a last-gasp tackle from Paul Prescott prevented Ian Henderson from scoring within seconds of the start.

The home side continued to push and went close again following a penalty when a smart blindside move from Henderson put Jean-Philippe Baile away down the right.

Last-ditch defence from Pat Richards and George Carmont held the big French centre up and prevented the score.

However from the restart Dragons sent the ball wide to the left and a winding run from Scott Dureau back to the right found Baile with enough space to score. Dureau added the conversion to give the Dragons a 6-0 lead.

Wigan searched for a response and following three consecutive penalties awarded by referee Richard Silverwood for a mixture of offences the Catalan defence eventually broke as Sam Tomkins broke the defensive line to cross under the posts in the 21st minute.

Richards added a simple conversion to level the scores.

There was not long to wait for another try though, with Catalans restoring their lead in the 26th minute.

A high tackle by Sean O’Loughlin gave the Dragons a penalty and Jamal Fakir took the ball to the line and produced an off-load to Dureau who put Millard clear down the right and he seized the opportunity to score.

Wigan were back to parity after 33 minutes as Clint Greenshields was punished for slack play.

Greenshields had expected the ball to roll dead from a Sam Tomkins grubber kick through, and had not anticipated the Wigan full-back following up his kick quite so quickly.

Tomkins touched down just before the whitewash, and Richards again added the extra two points.

With half-time approaching, Dragons were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Dureau converted to give the hosts their slender interval lead.

The second half was far more tight, and points-scoring chances were at a premium.

Wigan were clinging to a two-point deficit, hoping to strike late and decisively to take the points.

But it was Catalan who had the final say as Henderson found Dureau and he in turn handed the ball on to Setaimata Sa.

It was left to Greenshields, after his earlier error, to play the decisive pass to Millard who went over for his second try of the night, converted by Dureau to wrap up victory.