Wigan Warriors 22-46 Catalans: Tom Johnstone scores Magic Weekend hat-trick as Dragons leapfrog Warrington to go top of the Super League
- Tom Johnstone’s expertly-taken treble maintained his outstanding form
- He took his tally for the season to 17 Super League tries in 14 appearances
- Back-rower Matt Whitley scored two in eight-try romp at St James’ Park
Tom Johnstone’s Magic Weekend hat-trick sent Catalans to the Super League summit and confirmed he is back to his lethal best.
The England winger has endured a traumatic few years after two anterior cruciate ligament setbacks and a groin injury which ended his time at Wakefield Trinity prematurely last year.
But a close-season switch to the south of France has proved transformative and the 27-year-old wide man’s expertly-taken treble maintained his outstanding form as Catalans beat Wigan 46-22.
The imposing Yorkshireman’s exploits here took his tally for the season to 17 Super League tries in 14 appearances.
The Dragons also scored through Sam Tomkins, Matt Whitley (2), Arthur Mourgue and Arthur Romano, reducing title rivals Wigan to rubble.
Tom Johnstone took his tally for the season to 17 Super League tries in 14 appearances
Head coach Steve McNamara said: ‘Tom’s had a couple of dreadful years with injuries, but his all-round game has been superb since joining us. He showed that once again.’
Wigan scored through Jake Wardle, Bevan French, Abbas Miski, Liam Marshall and Morgan Smithies, but Catalans were worthy victors. Warriors head coach Matt Peet admitted: ‘We were particularly poor today in a lot of areas, but Catalans were excellent and have one of the best finishers in the competition [in Johnstone].
‘It’s tough to watch when you see your players fail to perform.’
In the first game of the day, Hull Kingston Rovers suffered a triple injury blow during their 26-16 defeat by Salford Red Devils.
Back-rower James Batchelor was taken to hospital after suffering a head knock, while full-back Lachlan Coote failed a head injury assessment and prop Sauaso Sue suffered a hamstring injury.
Head coach Willie Peters said: ‘I think initially he [Batchelor] didn’t have any feeling, but it started to come back. The medical team said he was in good spirits, and it was precautionary to take him to the hospital because of his early symptoms.’
Castleford edged a dramatic encounter against rivals Leeds 26-24 to end a six-match losing streak and claim only their third win of the season.