Hock's outstanding performance seals hard-fought win for Warriors

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The Independent Online

Gareth Hock put in another man-of-the-match performance in front of the watching England coach Tony Smith as Wigan ground out a hard-fought 38-30 victory at Wakefield yesterday.

The Warriors have a patchy record at Belle Vue in recent years but they recovered after falling 6-0 and 12-6 behind early on to edge in front 14-12 by the interval. Stand-in captain Trent Barrett created three tries after the break to seal the points for Wigan, despite a late onslaught from the Wildcats, for whom Danny Brough was instrumental.

But it was Hock who caught the eye after making a mountain of yards in attack and coming up with his side's fifth try of the afternoon, as the Warriors warmed up for next weekend's Challenge Cup trip to Leeds with a confidence-boosting away win.

On Saturday night, Catalan Dragons turned on the style to beat Huddersfield Giants 48-0 in a dazzling eight-try display.

The Frenchmen were in a totally different class as they regained second spot in the Super League in a most spectacular fashion. And it was the perfect way for the Dragons to celebrate the news that Kevin Walters will be joining as head coach next season when Mick Potter moves to St Helens.

It was a victory that delighted Catalan coach Potter who was pleased with the response after two disappointing defeats.

He said: "It's been a tough May for us especially after being rolled over by St Helens and Bradford like we were in the last two games. It was the perfect response from our players to those disappointments and I couldn't be happier with them.

"I thought the players worked well defensively and executed exceptionally well on attack.

"At the same time I saw more errors from Huddersfield in this game than I have in almost any others in which they've been involved this season.

"That gave us field position and we capitalised on their errors superbly, and all credit to them for that."

The Huddersfield coach Jon Sharp was far from happy. He said: "I'm devastated with what I've seen tonight. After last week's great performance against Hull KR, I thought we'd turned the corner.

"Unfortunately that hasn't proved the case and what we saw in this game has been indicative of our season. We were out-muscled and bullied and that really disappoints me.

"We knew that is was going to be a tough game but it seems as if the players were not prepared for it. We started the game badly, giving away two quick tries, and were then on the back foot throughout the game."

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