Wheelchair Challenge Cup: Catalans Dragons beat Wigan Warriors 81-18 to retain trophy | Rugby League News

Four tries from Jeremy Bourson helped Catalans Dragons retain the Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup with a resounding 81-18 victory over Wigan Warriors at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Player of the match Bourson opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute, acrobatically clutching Nico Claussels’ lofted cross-kick and the France international rounded off the first half scoring with his hat-trick try in the 32nd minute with yet another display of individual skill and sheer speed.

In between those tries, Clausells had chased his own seemingly innocuous kick through to steal a try from under the noses of the Warriors’ defence, Arno Vargas finished off a flowing move for the first of his own eye-catching hat-trick and Bourson had pounced for his second before the Warriors had even got off the mark.

“It’s great to have won it again”, Catalans captain and England international Seb Bechara said. “I’ve said before that winning the Challenge Cup last year meant a lot to me and the rest of the guys.

“We forced a few too many passes in the first half, but in the end, it was a good performance. It’s great to be going home in with the cup again.”

Trailing 22-0, Wigan needed inspiration and it came through skipper Dec Roberts, whose 17th-minute try and conversion closed the gap to 16 points. That deficit was narrowed further when Adam Rigby found himself on the end of a superb team move just three minutes later.

Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com - 01/06/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup Final - Catalans Dragons Wheelchair v Wigan Warriors Wheelchair - EIS Sheffield, Sheffield, England -
Catalans Dragons' Jeremy Bourson in action with Wigan Warriors' Chris Greenhalgh
Jeremy Bourson tries to evade the Wigan defence

But 12-22 was as good as it got for the Warriors and with Clausells and Bourson scoring again before half-time, the trophy was already halfway to Perpignan with the Dragons 34-12 ahead.

In the second half the Dragons treated the 400-plus crowd to an exhibition of try-scoring with World Cup winner Bechara scoring the first of his hat-trick in the 41st minute – his 72nd-minute try to complete the haul being the pick of the bunch as he showed an astonishing turn of speed to burst through the Warriors ranks.

There were further tries from Vargas, Bourson, Dore and Nico Clausells, plus a drop goal from the latter’s uncle, Gilles, with Wigan having only a late consolation from Jack Heggie to show for their efforts.

Watch every match of the 2024 men’s Betfred Super League season, including Magic Weekend, the play-offs, and men’s, women’s and wheelchair Grand Finals, live on Sky Sports. Also stream contract-free with NOW.