Super 8s: Catalans Dragons 6-35 Wigan Warriors
|Catalans (0) 6|
|Tries: Yaha Goals: Drinkwater|
|Wigan (18) 35|
|Tries: Greenwood 2, Escare 2, Clubb, Williams Goals: Tomkins 5 Drop goal: Tomkins|
Wigan Warriors moved closer to their aim of a home semi-final in the post-season play-offs with victory against an under-strength Catalans Dragons.
Catalans take on Warrington in next week's Challenge Cup final and rested several first-choice players such as Remi Casty and Tony Gigot.
Shaun Wane's visitors were ruthless, with ex-Dragon Morgan Escare scoring two of their six tries.
The win leaves Wigan three points clear in second, while Catalans stay eighth.
In blistering sunshine and warm temperatures, Wigan looked sharper and were quicker to the punch with Sam Tomkins lively throughout.
Only the loss of winger Liam Marshall to injury in the first half will be a concern for Wane going forward, having previously lost the services of wingers Joe Burgess and Dom Manfredi in similar circumstances.
Former Saints back-rower Joe Greenwood was put through on the left edge in either half, while Escare's two tries came from a Tomkins break and a handling error at the end of the first-half.
Josh Drinkwater's perfect kick put Dragons winger Fouad Yaha in out wide on the left, as the cup finalists showed some resolve.
However, Wigan completed the job with further scores from Tony Clubb - after Gabe Hamlin's break stalled - and then the stepping feet of George Williams to finish.
Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara:
"Absolutely. It's about winning the final for us, as simple as that. Nothing else matters, although I would have liked to have played a bit better today but you can see when a team is completely distracted and we've been distracted all week.
"I've no issues with it whatsoever, with the schedule we've had and what we've had to do to get ourselves ready for the final. This is the best route for us.
"Next week will be our fourth visit to England in five weeks so there's been lots of things to organise and sort in the last couple of weeks to make sure we're physically and mentally fresh and ready to play next week. Without doubt, we'll be ready to play."
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane:
"It was a good performance, this is always a tough place to come. I thought we were very physical. We got in at half three this morning but the players have been ultra professional.
"I'm happy, we've got some momentum before the break and perhaps we'll get a few players back for the next game."
On the injury to Liam Marshall:
"It's really upset me because he's been fantastic for us. You can never account for losing a winger. It definitely disrupted us but the way we coped with it was good. Morgan did a great job, taking his chances."
Catalans: Gigot; Tierney, Thornley, Wiliame, Yaha; Langi, Drinkwater, Moa, McIlorum, Maria, Jullien, Edwards, Baitieri.
Replacements: Anderson, Bousquet, Da Costa, Goudemand.
Wigan: Tomkins; Davies, Isa, Sarginson, L. Marshall; Williams, Leuluai; Navarrete, Powell, Flower, Bateman, Greenwood, Hamlin.
Replacements: Clubb, Sutton, Escare, Partington.
Referee: Greg Dolan (RFL)