French fancy as Wigan dazzle Dragons
Match report as Wigan Warriors beat 46-12 Catalans Dragons at the DW Stadium.
Bevan French scored a hat trick to help Adrian Lam’s side on their to victory.
- Debutant, Harry Smith, made it a day to remember, scoring a try seven minutes after coming on.
A Bevan French hat trick helped Wigan Warriors on their way to a 46-12 victory over Catalans Dragons at the DW Stadium.
The winger, who also assisted two, showed his array of talents to punish the visitors.
As the game went on, more and more space opened up for the Warriors, as they scored six second half tries.
It was also a day to remember for Harry Smith, who was among the scorers on his first team debut for the club.
Despite the comprehensive victory for Wigan, it was Catalans who had more of the ball in the opening twenty minutes.
Things looked to be going against Adrian Lam’s side, when they were reduced to 12-men in the 18th minute after Liam Farrell was sent to the sin-bin for a late hit.
Despite that, the Warriors came close to taking the lead, after a mislaid pass was intercepted and kicked forward by George Williams.
Unfortunately, Oliver Gildart was unable to control the bouncing ball, allowing the defenders to recover.
Four minutes later, Wigan were in front, as Williams’ pass to the right wing found French, who cut inside to score.
After successfully kicking the conversion, Zak Hardaker added an extra two from a penalty goal, which was awarded for a late challenge on French whilst grounding the try, making it 8-0 after 26 minutes.
Four minutes before the break, the winger grabbed his second, as he showed his electric pace to go round the Catalans defence and punish for them.
Hardaker was on hand again to kick the extras and make it 14-0 at half time.
Only five minutes after the break, French had his hat trick, as he once again cut inside and demonstrated his agility, sprinting through a gap in the defence.
Three minutes later, the visitors pulled one back, as Michael McIlorum forced his way through to score against his former club.
Another former Warrior, Sam Tomkins, successfully added the extra two points from the conversion to make it 20-6.
But that didn’t dishearten Wigan, as they soon responded.
This time French turned provider, offloading the ball off to Hardaker who found the space to go over.
The floodgates then began to open, as Thomas Leuluai was the next man to add his name to the score sheet, as he skipped past Catalans’ challenges to score.
A special moment followed in the 56th minute as Smith made his way on to the pitch for his appearance for the Wigan Warriors first team.
The day then got even better for the debutant, as he opened his account on the hour mark, with Joe Burgess assisting with a superb kick to split the defence.
Smith was on hand to convert his own try and make it 36-6.
Wigan weren’t done, as French turned creator again, hacking the ball forward to Dan Sarginson who collected to easily went over.
The Dragons were able to pull another back, as another former Warrior, Lewis Tierney, added another consolation.
With seconds remaining, Wigan put the icing on the cake, as Gildart broke free to make it 46-12 at full time.
Victory strengthens Wigan’s position of second place in the Betfred Super League table, with only one game of the regular season remaining.
Wigan Warriors: Zak Hardaker, Bevan French, Dan Sarginson, Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, George Williams, Thomas Leuluai, Tony Clubb, Sam Powell, Oliver Partington, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Morgan Smithies.
Interchanges: Harry Smith, Romain Navarette, Joe Greenwood, Liam Byrne.
Tries: French (26,’36,’ 45’), Hardaker (51’), Leuluai (54’), Smith (60’), Sarginson (72’), Gildart (79’)
Conversions: Hardaker (5/7)
Penalties: Hardaker (1/1)
Sin-bin: Farrell (18’)
Catalans Dragons: Sam Tomkins, Arthur Romano, Samisoni Langi, Brayden Wiliame, Lewis Tierney, Gregory Bird, Lucas Albert, Antoni Maria, Michael McIlorum, Julian Bousquet, Benjamin Bousquet, Matthew Whitley, Remi Casty.
Interchanges: Mickael Simon, Mickael Goudemand, Alrix De Costa, Jason Baitieri.
Tries: McIlorum (48’), Lewis Tierney (77’)
Conversions: Tomkins (2/2)
Referee: R. Hicks. Touch Judges: T. Grant, J. Roberts