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Catalans thrash Wigan to win Wheelchair Challenge Cup final

Adam Rigby of Wigan Warriors and Jeremy Bourson of Catalans Dragons
Jeremy Bourson (right) scored four tries for Catalans Dragons with Adam Rigby (left) contributing two tries for Wigan Warriors [SWPix.com]

Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup Final

Catalans (34) 81

Tries: Bourson 4, N Clausells 3, Vargas 3, Bechara 3, Dore Goals: N Clausells 4, Bechara, G Clausells 7 Drop-goal: G Clausells

Wigan (12) 18

Tries: D Roberts, Rigby 2 Goals: D Roberts 2, Heggie

Catalans Dragons stormed to a second successive Wheelchair Challenge Cup title as they thrashed reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors in Sheffield.

Jeremy Bourson crashed in three times and Nico Clausells went over twice as Catalans led 34-12 at the break, with Dec Roberts and Adam Rigby replying for Wigan.

Les Dracs' captain Sebastien Bechara completed a second half hat-trick, having scored his first less than a minute after the restart, while Arno Vargas also registered a treble of his own.

Bourson went in for his fourth and Damien Dore got his name on the scoresheet before Rigby added his second as a late consolation for Wigan, but Nico Clausells went in to complete his hat-trick in the final seconds.

Catalans had already brushed aside Wigan to become wheelchair rugby league's first outright European club champions in April.

However the Warriors went into the game after triumphing 48-30 against last year's runners-up Leeds Rhinos in the semi-final.

Nico Clausells beat Roberts in the build-up to touching down with just millimetres to spare for Les Dracs' second try of the afternoon after Bourson had got them going.

Catalans did not run out of steam in a stunning first half showing and were three tries up inside just 12 minutes when they worked the ball laterally to Vargas who dotted down at the corner following a flowing team move.

Bourson swept in for a solo try to add his second, and Catalans' fourth, before the break but Roberts' powerful score, followed by a clever Wigan move to send Rigby through cut the deficit.

The Dragons were not done before half-time, however, and Nico raced in for another solo try and Bourson wrapped up his hat-trick in style as he flowed through from the right to stun the Warriors.

The French side picked up from where they left off courtesy of Bechara's quickfire double, the second of which came courtesy of some stunning work from Bourson in the build-up.

Vargas' hat-trick followed a Victor Puly offload and a clever move into the corner but the pick of the bunch for Catalans came as Gilles Clausells punted the ball deep into the Wigan half to tee up Bourson's fourth.

A clinical performance continued, with Dore coolly going through for Catalans' 12th try and Bechara put in a lung-busting chase to score under the posts to wrap up the win in style - but there was still time for Nico Clausells to round things off.

'We are really connected as a team'

Catalans Dragons captain Sebastien Bechara told BBC Sport:

"We always love winning. We train hard all year round, we train hard every year. We often get quite a lot of success and when it happens we're really thrilled.

"We always talk about being really connected as a team. We train so well together and I think that makes a difference when we're on the pitch.

"We wanted that head start and we kept drilling it in and it was a great performance."

Catalans: Bechara, G Clausells, N Clausells, Bourson, Vargas, Dore, Puly, Hivernat, Lacombe.

Wigan: Greenhalgh, Lane, N Roberts, Heggie, D Roberts, Rigby, P Roberts, Williams, Burton-Carter.

Referee: Ollie Cruickshank.