Harry Smith netted a last-minute goal to seal a comeback victory for Wigan Warriors as they battled 18-10 to beat Toulouse Olympique in the Betfred Super League on Saturday.
The Warriors’ 10-day journey to take on the two French Super League clubs nearly got off to a horrific start as the competition’s bottom side took a shocking half-time lead.
However, a late recovery from Wigan, with tries from Liam Marshall and Jai Field before Smith’s late strike, saw the tourists reclaim the points at Stade Ernest Wallon.
The Warriors Field full-back was the first to score, jumping too easily through the Toulouse defense from 40 yards out and wandering under the posts in the fourth minute. Five minutes later, the ball was turned left to Zak Hardaker who crossed into the corner.
Toulouse lost scrum-half Lucas Albert to a head injury, allowing Ellis Robson, on loan from Warrington, to make his debut from the bench, and the Olympians closed when winger Paul Marcon was brought into touch to the right corner flag.
But Wigan’s line broke when Tony Gigot threw a bomb into the same corner and Guy Armitage mopped up the loose ball to score.
Then another kick from Gigot caused chaos in the same corner, Hardaker putting the ball into Maxime Stefani’s hand, and he smashed his way over the line with Chris Hankinson converting to level the scores at 10-10 to the half hour.
Toulouse Olympique: Trials – Guy Armitage (2), Maxime Stefani, Tony Gigot, Matty Russell; Goals – Chris Hankinson (3); Drop goal – Tony Gigot, Eloi Pelissier
Wigan Warriors: Tries – Jai Field (2), Zak Hardaker, Cade Cust, Liam Marshall; Goals – Zak Hardaker (4); Drop goal – Harry Smith.
Albert came back from his head injury assessment to kick behind the sticks for Gigot to recover and score, putting Toulouse ahead for the first time in their short Super League history. Then Gigot and Eloi Pelissier each scored lost goals just before half-time to make it 18-10 at the break.
Wigan put the pressure on early in the second half and Cade Cust from range dribbled down the line from short range, Hardaker adding the conversion to make it 18-16.
But Toulouse came back with a quick passing movement to the left where Matty Russell finished in the corner, too wide for Hankinson to convert.
Gigot’s 40-20 kick then created the field position for Armitage to crash, Hankinson’s conversion pushing the lead to 28-16.
Wigan weren’t finished and winger Marshall scratched into the right corner for a try in his 100th appearance for the Warriors.
Then Field struck in the far corner and Hardaker leveled the scores with a sideline conversion just seven minutes from time.
Toulouse thought they had won it when Marcon was taken into touch at the corner flag moments later, then Wigan struck past their posts and Gigot went for the drop goal.
He was charged by Joe Shorrocks and he ran to the other end of the field, where Hardaker missed his field goal attempt before Smith was on target.
Wigan stays in France as they prepare for a match against the Catalans Dragons, winners of last year’s League Leaders’ Shield, in Perpignan next Saturday, live on sky sports (kick off at 17:00 GMT).
Toulouse now travel to another side yet to register a Super League victory this year, Wakefield Trinity, the day before (7:30 p.m.).
We would like to give thanks to the author of this post for this incredible web content
Match Report – Toulouse 28 – 29 Wigan – Reuters