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Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Sunday, 29 July 2007 17:04 UK

Catalans Dragons 37-24 Wigan

Wigan get to grips with Catalans Dragons forward Jason Croker
Wigan get to grips with Catalans Dragons forward Jason Croker

Catalans: (24) 37
Tries: McGuire, Wilson, Mogg, Duport (2), Croker
Goals: Jones (6)
Drops Jones

Wigan: (6) 24
Tries: Leuluai, Higham, Goulding, Calderwood
Goals: Richards (4)

Catalans Dragons became the first French side to reach the Challenge Cup final thanks to a stunning upset of Wigan at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium.

Mick Potter's underdogs raced into an amazing 22-0 lead inside 20 minutes with tries from Casey McGuire, John Wilson, Adam Mogg and Vincent Duport.

The Warriors hit back after the break to reduce the deficit to seven points.

But Jason Croker's try from a Stacey Jones kick sealed victory for the Dragons and booked a trip to Wembley.

They will face St Helens on 25 August after the holders defeated Bradford 35-14 on Saturday.


The Dragons had suffered a 30-0 humiliation at Wigan last month but they made a mockery of their Super League form to make a whirlwind start.

Centre Adam Mogg, who has played State of Origin for Queensland, created one try for McGuire after three minutes and, after Wilson had gone over, touched down himself.

Duport then grabbed his first try before Wigan pulled a try back through scrum-half Thomas Leuluai six minutes before the break.

Jones, who kicked three of his four conversion attempts in the first half, nudged his side into an 18-point half-time lead with a penalty.

Tommy Leuluai scores Wigan's first try towards the end of the first half
Tommy Leuluai scores Wigan's first try towards the end of the first half
And when Duport grabbed his second try within eight minutes of the re-start, Jones added his second touchline conversion to extend his side's lead to 31-6.

Stuart Fielden, who was substituted just 20 minutes into the tie, made an immediate impact on his return, offloading from the tackle for hooker Micky Higham to score a try.

Then, after Jones had been sin-binned for stopping Wigan taking a quick drop-out, Wigan stepped up the tempo.

Darrell Goulding made use of the extra man to go over on 63 minutes and Mark Calderwood brought the crowd to its feet four minutes later with a sensational length-of-the-field try.

Pat Richards added both difficult conversions to cut the deficit to just seven points.

But seconds after returning to the field, Jones put in a perfect kick for Croker to score the match-clinching try.

Catalans Dragons: Greenshields, Duport, Wilson, Mogg, Khattabi, McGuire, Jones, Chan, Quigley, Guisset, Raguin, Croker, Mounis.
Replacements: Ferriol, Griffi, Gossard, Touxagas.

Wigan: Richards, Calderwood, Bailey, Vaealiki, Colbon, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hock, Fletcher, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Prescott, Hansen, Goulding, Mcllorum.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).

see also
Dragons coach hails historic win
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Noble left dejected and dismayed
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Catalans v Wigan as it happened
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Bradford 14-35 St Helens
28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Long targets a dream Wembley win
28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
McNamara proud despite Bulls loss
28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League

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