Wigan find themselves eight points down to the Betfred Super League’s bottom side, but claw their way back to earn a victory at Stade Ernest Wallon thanks to Harry Smith kicking a drop goal in the closing stages

Last Updated: 05/03/22 7:38pm

    Harry Smith seals the win for Wigan with a late drop goal

    Harry Smith seals the win for Wigan with a late drop goal

    Harry Smith landed a last-minute drop goal to seal a comeback win for Wigan Warriors as they fought back from 18-10 down to defeat Toulouse Olympique in the Betfred Super League on Saturday.

    The Warriors’ 10-day trip taking in fixtures against both French Super League clubs almost got off to a horror start as the competition’s bottom side raced to a shock half-time lead.

    However, a late recovery by Wigan, with tries from Liam Marshall and Jai Field before Smith’s late strike, saw the tourists salvage the points at Stade Ernest Wallon.

    Story of the game

    Warriors full-back Field was first to score, skipping too easily through the Toulouse defence from 40 metres out and strolling under the posts in the fourth minute. Five minutes later the ball was spun left to Zak Hardaker who crossed in the corner.

    Toulouse lost scrum-half Lucas Albert to a head injury, allowing Warrington loanee Ellis Robson to make his debut from the bench, and the Olympians went close when winger Paul Marcon was bundled into touch at the right corner flag.

    But the Wigan line broke when Tony Gigot launched a bomb into the same corner and Guy Armitage mopped up the loose ball to score.

    Then another Gigot kick caused chaos in the same corner, Hardaker palming the ball into Maxime Stefani’s hand, and he forced his way over the line with Chris Hankinson converting to level the scores at 10-10 on the half-hour.

    Toulouse Olympique: Tries – Guy Armitage (2), Maxime Stefani, Tony Gigot, Matty Russell; Goals – Chris Hankinson (3); Drop goals – 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 returned from his head injury assessment to kick behind the sticks for Gigot to collect and score, putting Toulouse ahead for the first time in their short Super League history. Then Gigot and Eloi Pelissier each cheekily slotted drop goals just before half-time to make it 18-10 at the break.

    Wigan piled on the pressure early in the second half and stand-off Cade Cust dribbled over the line from short range, Hardaker adding the conversion to make it 18-16.

    But back came Toulouse with a sweeping passing move 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 over, Hankinson’s conversion pushing the lead to 28-16.

    Guy Armitage scored two tries for Toulouse

    Guy Armitage scored two tries for Toulouse

    Wigan were not done and winger Marshall scraped in at the right corner for a try on his 100th appearance for the Warriors.

    Then Field struck in the opposite corner and Hardaker levelled the scores with a touchline conversion with just seven minutes left.

    Toulouse thought they had won it when Marcon was bundled into touch at the corner flag moments later, then Wigan knocked on in front of their posts and Gigot went for the drop goal.

    It was charged down by Joe Shorrocks and he raced to the other end of the pitch, where Hardaker missed his attempt at a field goal before Smith was on target.

    What’s next?

    Wigan remain in France as they prepare for a match against last year’s League Leaders’ Shield winners Catalans Dragons in Perpignan next Saturday, live on Sky Sports (5pm GMT kick-off).

    Toulouse now travel to another team yet to record a win in Super League this year, Wakefield Trinity, the night before (7.30pm).