31 Mar 2019
Wigan win by 42
Joe Burgess' hat-trick helped Wigan Warriors to a 42-0 win over Catalans Dragons in the Betfred Super League.
Former Wigan favourite Sam Tomkins made his return to the DW Stadium but could not inspire his new side as the Warriors ran in seven tries in all.
It was only 8-0 at half-time as Burgess, in only his second game back from a serious knee injury, scored the only try with Zak Hardaker adding the conversion and a penalty.
Burgess scored again in the 50th minute and a rush of scoring around the hour mark brought tries for George Williams and Oliver Gildart, Burgess' hat-trick and two conversions and a penalty for Hardaker.
Hardaker scored the sixth try and Jarrod Sammut added another in the last minute, with Hardaker converting both to take his points total to 18.
Wigan coach Adrian Lam said: “I’m smiling. Hurray.
“It’s good to be in a winning dressing room, it’s a completely different vibe. I’ve learned a lot as a coach in the first few weeks of the season, so it’s only going to make me better and the team better.
"I think everyone will be talking about the 42 points scored, but I was more than happy with the no points against really. That’s been the hardest part to try and change their mindset and mentality, so hopefully that’s a start of us defending better as a side."
Dragons coacn Steve McNamara, by contrast, was far from happy with his side's performance.
He said: "I thought we were as ready as we had been to play a game all year but then we dished that up. We were still in the contest, then the floodgates opened.
“We were completely beaten in every department by a team that were really hungry and energetic. We were exactly the opposite.”
Wigan skipper Sean O'Loughlin sat the game out but Lam revealed he was not injured, merely being preserved for the matches to come - starting against Castleford Tigers on Friday.
He said: "He was just tight through his hamstring, lower back and calf. He didn’t do an actual injury, but in the past when they’ve found his (work)load was up and playing big minutes like he has been, they’ve driven him hard over a couple of weeks and then he’s got injured.
"Rather than getting to that point, we just wanted to manage that and we’re thankful we did it now.”