Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bowen Double Stuns Dragons

Fresh from their famous win over Warrington last week, Wigan played host to Catalan last night in game that went right down to the wire as the Warriors looked for a third win in a row while Catalan were hoping for their second win this week.

Wigan welcomed back captain Sean O'Loughlin back from injury while the Dragons included Daryl Millard to boast their pack and it paid off early as they opened the scoring in the fourth minute when a nice piece of play saw Escare run through the Wigan defence and over for the first try. Bosc converted successfully to give the visitors a 0-6 lead.

Wigan responded as Charnley collected from a Catalan kick but the resulting set saw a forward pass and Catalan took advantage and extended their lead as Pomeroy went over for a try but Bosc missed a tough conversion attempt meaning the lead of 0-10 gave Wigan hope.

A succession of penalties saw Wigan get close to the Catalan line but Taylor knocked on with the line in sight and another error came in the next Wigan set when Thornley picked out Burgess who was easily tackled into touch when there were better options available for the Wigan centre.

Wigan forced a dropout and used the advantage to good effect as Bowen went through a gap in the defence and over for they try but Smith missed the conversion meaning the score was 4-10 and remained so into half-time which saw a rousing booing towards the referee after consistent offsides were not given.

The second half began with heavy rainfall which would test both sides but it was Wigan who suffered first as a high kick from Pryce was collected by Bowen but the pressure saw him lose the ball and gifted Escare his second try of the game with Bosc converting for a 4-16 lead.

Wigan got back in the game in the 52nd minute when Charnley scored in the corner and Smith sent over a superb curling conversion to reduce the gap to 10-16 and Wigan could have been level on the hour when Burgess went over but the try was chalked off for a forward pass in the build up.

Wigan thought they had reduced the gap when Charnley went in for a try but it was chalked off for a forward pass but did go over successfully when a nice set of passes in the middle allowed Farrell to go over and Smith converted successfully for a 16 all score.

Wigan after coming from behind had the chance to go in front as they were awarded a penalty in a good position and took the chance to kick for goal but Smith's effort missed but in going dead meant his side retained possession and thoughts turned to a one-pointer.

Smith had two attempts blocked as the clock ticked into the final five minutes and Wigan went achingly close to a try when Burgess was tackled into touch with the line in sight. Catalan chose to kick on the last rather then go for a drop goal and it certainly cost them as Bowen collected the kick before racing towards the Catalan defence, selling them a dummy and then thundering through and over the try line  to a charging roar from the fans as he secured the win. Smith converted from under the sticks for a 22-16 lead which was enough to seal a third successive win.