Joe Burgess grabbed two tries to help Wigan Warriors inflict a 28-12 defeat on Catalans Dragons in the French side’s first Super League game in Perpignan since March 7.
A crowd of 5,000 were in attendance at Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday evening – the first time supporters had been admitted to a Super League game since the season resumed – but they had little to cheer as hosts Catalans returned to action after three weeks without a game.
Tries from Oliver Gildart, Bevan French and Burgess helped Wigan into an 18-0 lead at half-time and the 25-year-old England international added his second 15 minutes after the restart, with Sam Powell putting the seal on the win to banish memories of the shock loss to Hull KR last time out.
The visitors went in front with eight minutes on the clock when Jackson Hastings found Gildart for the centre to force his way over for an unconverted try wide on the left, although the home fans were incensed by a forward pass in the build-up which was not spotted by the officials.
The Dragons shook off that early setback and spent much of the next 20 minutes camped on Wigan’s try-line, yet they were unable to make the most of that despite forcing three goal-line drop-outs and benefitting from several penalties.
And they were made to pay on the half-hour mark when the Warriors launched a devastating counter-attack which saw Burgess break down the left wing and pass inside for support-runner French to finish for his sixth try of the campaign, followed by Zak Hardaker converting.
Burgess then went from provider to scorer just before half time, capitalising with another run down the left touchline when Sam Kasiano lost the ball in a tackle and Wigan recovered it. Hardaker again converted and added a penalty to put the away side 18 points up at half time.
The Dragons came out firing after the break, with Lewis Tierney leading the charge, and the Warriors soon found themselves a man down temporarily when Joe Greenwood was sin-binned for a professional foul.
However, the French side again could not take advantage and Gildart and Burgess combined to punish them once again in the 53rd minute with the centre sending the winger over for his second try of the game.
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