Catalans head to Wembley

Dragons down Wigan to become the first French side in a Challenge Cup final.

    Catalan Dragons will face defending champions
    St Helens on 25 August [AFP]
    To their credit the warriors then staged a dramatic comeback to close within seven points, but a try to Australian veteran Jason Croker with less than ten minutes remaining seal the Dragons historic trip to Wembley.

    They will face defending champions St Helens on 25 August after the World Champions defeated Bradford 35-14 on Saturday.

    After suffering a 30-0 thrashing at the hands of Wigan last month and in the midst of a form slump in Super League, the Dragons made a mockery of pre-game predictions in the opening period of the game.

    With just three minutes on the clock former Queensland State of Origin player Adam Mogg set up fellow Australian Casey McGuire for the opening try, and then after Wilson had scored, grabbed one himself after coasting through some shell shocked Wigan defence.

    Wigan

    finally troubled the scorer six minutes before halftime after halfback Thomas Leuluai dived over, but this was after Duport had grabbed the Dragons fourth try.

    The Catalans own number seven Stacey Jones, who had been in the thick of everything positive his side had done, pushed their first half lead to 18-points with a penalty.

    The match looked over when Duport scored his second try eight minutes after the re-start, and Jones added the touchline conversion to extend his side's lead to 31-6.

    But the comeback commenced when Wigan hooker Micky Higham scored after a slick off load from star prop Stuart Fielden.

    And when Jones was sin-binned for slowing the play, Wigan set about trying the snatch the most dramatic of comebacks.

    The man advantage allowed Darrell Goulding to cross on 63 minutes and Mark Calderwood then brought the crowd to its feet four minutes later with a sensational length-of-the-field try as the Wigan fans sensed the prematch predictions were to be fulfilled after all.

    Pat Richards' conversions cut the deficit to just seven points.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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