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Warriors douse Dragons' fire
Table-toppers earn a week off with one-sided win
George Carmont scored a hat-trick of tries as Wigan crushed Catalan Dragons 46-6 to move within one win of the Grand Final.
The regular season table-toppers were in unstoppable form as they bounced back from last week's home defeat by St Helens.
They ran in eight tries in all and earn a week off before a home semi-final tie against an opponent they will get to choose under the 'clubcall' system.
That could well be Catalan again if the French side win at home next weekend, but they will have to turn in a very different display to threaten the Warriors' path to a second Grand Final in three years.
Brett Finch's bullet pass cut out three defenders and put veteran centre Carmont over in the corner inside four minutes, with Pat Richards adding the extras from the touchline.
Three minutes later Carmont was in again as Wigan again targeted the right flank of the Dragons defence, Liam Farrell bursting through and supplying the scoring pass.
Catalan had a spell of pressure after back-to-back penalties and a drop-out, but crossfield kicks from Scott Dureau were easily defused by first Finch and then Richards.
Wigan were over again when Thomas Leuluai dropped a shoulder and raced in, although six minutes from the half Louis Anderson gave Catalan hope as he ghosted over with the Wigan defence hanging back and waiting for a pass which never came.
But back-to-back penalties gifted Wigan a scoring opportunity just before the break and Darrell Goulding took full advantage.
The second half was almost entirely one-way traffic, the only issue in doubt how many more tries Wigan would score.
They settled for four. Leuluai and Finch combined to put Farrell in three minutes after the re-start and Matty Smith's pinpoint crossfield kick was plucked out of the air by a soaring Sam Tomkins.
Carmont shrugged off two tacklers to grab his hat-trick 13 minutes from time, before Super League's top tryscorer Josh Charnley finally got in on the act.
The winger was unchallenged as he collected a high kick and beat at least three half-hearted challenges as he raced 80 metres to score.
Catalan will surely be a different side next week on their own patch in the south of France, but they may already be wondering just how they can hope to get past Wigan and reach Old Trafford.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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