Super League: Wigan Warriors 12-8 Catalans Dragons - Hosts win to lift play-off spirits

James McDonnell
James McDonnell was recalled from loan to play his part for Wigan
Betfred Super League
Wigan (6) 12
Tries: Isa, McDonnell Goals: Hardaker 2
Catalans (0) 8
Tries: Davies, Laguerre

Wigan Warriors will play Leeds in the first round of the Super League play-offs after beating leaders Catalans Dragons in the regular-season closer.

Willie Isa scored the only try of the first half to put the Cherry and Whites in front at the DW Stadium.

Ex-Wigan winger Tom Davies replied for the Dragons, before James McDonnell crossed to extend Wigan's lead.

Mathieu Laguerre added a second Dragons try but again James Maloney missed from the tee as the Dragons fell short.

The visitors suffered a more telling blow losing Sam Tomkins to injury during the first half of the match.

Meanwhile, the Catalans will have a week off to prepare for their semi-final in which they are 80 minutes from a first Grand Final.

Wigan head coach Adrian Lam:

"I am very proud of that performance. I cannot really put it into words. We made a lot of changes to the team this week. It was a tough one to work out what we wanted to do in regards to the line-up.

"We have played 25 games in Super League this season, more than anyone. So we decided to freshen up the players that have played big minutes.

"The kicking game was great tonight. I thought our defence was awesome again. It's been the cornerstone of us for the last four weeks. We need to be like this leading into the big games. It gets harder each week. I am proud we have that cornerstone down, and I still think we can better.

"We still have a bit of work to do, but there is a good feeling in the dressing room."

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara:

"It was a really tough game. It was a game that we needed. Wigan have been in that defensive mode for a couple of weeks now. I thought we had enough opportunities - but Wigan defended great.

"Two tries each. We missed the goal kicks, which make a big difference. We have been on the other side of that plenty of times this season where Jimmy [Maloney] has kicked goals to help us win matches.

"I am slightly disappointed but it was certainly the kind of game we needed."

McNamara on Sam Tomkins: "Sam has got a sore knee. He felt it and came off straight away, so hopefully, he has minimised any damage.

"We'll put him in a brace, look after him for the next few days and see how he is."

Wigan: Hardaker; Bibby, Isa, Gildart, Halsall; Smith, Hastings; Clubb, Shorrocks, Bullock, Pearce-Paul, McDonnell, Partington.

Interchanges: Byrne, Clark, Havard, O'Neill.

Catalans Dragons: S. Tomkins; Davies, Langi, Whare, Laguerre; Maloney, Drinkwater; Dudson, McIlorum, Bousquet, McMeeken, Whitley, J. Tomkins.

Interchanges: Mourgue, Goudemand, Garcia, Kasiano.

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