PANTHER PRIDE | A big win for the mountain men tonight has them firmly entrenched in the top eight, ...
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A huge disappointment for the Wigan Warriors, as they were narrowly defeated in their engage Super League opener against the new boys the Catalans Dragons in the south of France.
Over 11,000 watched the history making clash, 2,000 in cherry and white and in a real nipand tuck encounter it was the home side that snatched the points.
Wigan were off to the worst possible start losing possession straight from the kick off and from the scrum the home side spread the ball to the left and within sixty seconds the French side were off to a flying start through a Mark Hughes try in the corner. The conversion hit the upright and the Dragons led 4-0.
On seven minutes Wigan replied as David Vaealiki found winger Brett Dallas to crash in at the corner, referee Ashley Klein checking with the video official before the try was given. Dallas just managing to ground the ball. Danny Tickles conversion hit the posts; the game was all-square at 4-4.
On 11 minutes Danny Tickle was involved in sending in Iafeta Paleaaesina for Wigans second try under the sticks, the big prop showing a turn of pace and enjoyed diving over for the try, this time Tickle hit the extras to make it 4-10.
The Catalans hit straight back on 16 minutes, a clever Stacey Jones kick and Frayssinous gathered for the try and he hit the conversion to make it 10-10.
On 31 minutes, the Dragons scored their third try, a short pass found the strong Jamal Fakir and he was able to power over, Frayssinous hit the conversion, 16-10 to the home side.
Catalans were reduced to ten men with Fakir thrown in the sin bin for two offences in quick succession and from the next tackle Dennis Moran stepped left and right to confuse the home defence for the Warriors third try. It was a simple goal, which Tickle notched to square the game again at 16-16.
Just when it looked as if the sides would be level at the interval Ian Millward?s men found a gap as Mark Calderwood raced clear. From the support play, O?Loughlin and Moran involved for a Jerry Seuseu try, his first for the club. Tickle was accurate with the extras to make it 16-22 after forty minutes.
On 46 minutes, the Catalans Dragons squeezed in for a try, their fourth in the corner through Renaud Guigue, the goal was missed 20-22. On 52 minutes the home side were in again, swift handling and Justin Murphy crossing on the right hand side to make it 26-22 as Fraysinnous slotted the goal over once more.
Wigan wasted a great opportunity on 63 minutes as Sean O?Loughlin lost the ball with the try line in his sights.
On 70 minutes the Warriors responded, Aussie Pat Richards with the try, handing off the Dragons full back on the right hand touchline. Calderwood with a quick tap from his own twenty and the ball through numerous hands before Ashton sent Richards away, Tickle hit the goal. There then followed another penalty and Wigan led 26-30.
The Dragons were not done, Ian Hindmarsh with a try for the home side to square it at 30 all with five minutes left. Frayssinous had pressure for the conversion and he hit it through the sticks to make it 32-30.
A Julian Rinaldi try in the dying moments which took a decision from the video ref and with Frayssinous the goal it mean?t the points for the home side in the bag and it ended 38-30.
CATALANS DRAGONS 38
Tries: Hughes, Frayssinous, Fakir, Guigue, Murphy, Hindmarsh,Rinaldi
Goals: Frayssinous 5
Team: Laurent Frayssinous, Justin Murphy, John Wilson, Teddy Sadaoui, Mark Hughes, Sean Rudder, Stacey Jones, Chris Beattie, Julien Rinaldi, Adel Fellous, Jerome Guisset, Jamal Fakir, Ian Hindmarsh. Subs: Renaud Guigue, Pascal Jampy, Gregory Mounis, Alex Chan.
Defeated WIGAN WARRIORS
Tries Dallas, Paleaaesina, Moran, Seuseu, Richards
Goals: Tickle 5
Team: Chris Ashton, Mark Calderwood, Pat Richards, David Vaealiki, Brett Dallas,Joel Tomkins, Dennis Moran, Scott Logan, Mick Higham, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Harrison Hansen, Danny Tickle, Sean O'Loughlin. Subs: Kevin Brown, Jerry Seuseu, Wayne Godwin, Danny Orr.
Referee: Ashley Klein
Halftime: Wigan 22-16
Venue: Stade Aime Giral, Perpignan (Catalans)