Wigan 36-12 Catalan Dragons

Wigan (10) 36

Tries:
Charnley 2, Leuluai, Richards, Hughes, O'Loughin
Goals:
Richards 6

Catalans (12) 12

Tries:
Dureau, Baile
Goals:
Dureau 2

Wigan ran in six tries as Catalan Dragons' 100% start came to an end at the DW Stadium.

Catalans looked on course when a converted Gregory Mounis try helped to give them a half-time 12-10 lead.

But, after first-half tries from Thomas Leuluai and Pat Richards, Wigan crossed four more times after the break.

Super League top scorer Josh Charnley ran in two more to take his tally to nine for the season, added to by Jack Hughes and Sean O'Loughlin.

Richards kicked six goals from seven attempts for an individual 16-point haul as Wigan went second after their fourth straight win.

Shaun Wane's men were wary of an unbeaten Dragons side who did the Super League double over them last season. But, although Catalans shocked Wigan 48-27 at the DW Stadium 11 months ago, the Warriors did gain revenge in the play-offs on home soil, winning 44-0.

And, although the French side beat St Helens 34-32 with a stunning after-the-hooter try in a last-gasp Langtree Park thriller last weekend, this one also proved comfortable for Wigan in the end.

After Hughes spurned an early chance to cross, letting the ball slip from his grasp as he crossed the line, it was left to Scott Dureau to open the scoring for the Dragons with a ninth-minute penalty.

But Leuluai's grubber forcing a goal-line drop-out allowed Brett Finch the chance to send his half-back partner over.

Richards added the extras, only for the Dragons to reply with a superb effort, slick handling by Setaimata Sa and Vincent Duport on the blindside allowing Dureau to dive over in the right corner.

Thomas Bosc missed the touchline kick, leaving the scores level at 6-6. But Richards overpowered Blanch to put Wigan back in front from Sam Tomkins' pass.

Richards hit the post with the kick, however, allowing the Dragons to go in front just before the break when Mounis crossed from dummy half, Dureau adding the extras.

But Wigan came out strong after the break, hitting Catalans with two tries within 15 minutes of the restart.

Chris Tuson's offload presented the opportunity for Hughes to charge onto Finch's pass and put Wigan back in front before Tomkins supplied the final pass for Charnley's first.

Richards did well to prevent Blanch pulling a try back, forcing him into touch, before tempers flared after a high shot on Wigan forward Epalahame Lauaki.

But Richards' penalty opened up a 12-point lead. And, after O'Loughlin backed up Michael McIlorum's break to stroll over, Charnley pounced on a late error for the final try, Richards converting both.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Wigan coach Shaun Wane:

"It was a great win for us. They're a good team with some great players so we needed to be at our best. We knew it'd be a tough game, physically. That's what we got and that's why it's so pleasing.

"It was 26-0 to us in the second half and we had 80 per cent completion. That's been one of the most satisfying things for me this year - our second-half performances have been ruthless. Now we'll strive to be ruthless in the first half too.

"Looking back, we missed a couple of opportunities to make it more convincing but, if someone had given me that scoreline before the game, I'd have snatched their hands off."

Catalans coach Trent Robinson:

"We had some opportunities that we exploited but I thought their forwards dominated our forwards today. They just had a better platform. As soon as they got some set-starts they controlled the game.

"Michael McIlorum had a great game out of dummy-half. Scott Dureau tried to get in there and get us started again but we lacked enough ball, enough possession.

"I saw a bit of fight and a bit of control but then I saw some sloppy ball, indiscipline and some edgy defence that we need to work on. When it looked a bit scrappy and there was some open play I thought we came back into it but there just wasn't enough of that for us."

SUNDAY'S LINE-UPS

Wigan: S Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Hughes, Richards; Finch, Leuluai; Mossop, McIlorum, Lauaki, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin.

Replacements: Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Flower.

Catalan Dragons: Greenshields; Blanch, Baile, Dupport, Millard; Bosc, Dureau; Paea, Henderson, Casty, Sa, Anderson, Baitieri.

Replacements: Pryce, Ferriol, Mounis, Fakir.

Attendance: 14,464.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).

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