Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 4th Mar 2017 7:02 PM
Winter had arrived in southern France with driving rain and a pitch on the verge of waterlogged as the Catalans Dragons eyeing their third consecutive win at the start of the season up against Widnes Vikings who were speaking their first points of the campaign.

Luke Burgess was making his debut for his new Dragons side after making eight appearances for Salford Red Devils last season. Widnes welcomed the return of Patrick Ah Van but would be without Manase Manuokafoa who picked up a training injury to curtail his return after a two game suspension.

Despite the driving rain it took just six minutes for Brayden Wiliame to cross off a Benjamin Garcia pass to dive full length to score. Luke Walsh added the extras and the home side were up and running.

On twelve minutes a superb solo try from Richie Myler who took full advantage from a Widnes spilled ball when he dribbled the ball from within his own half to the Vikings line where he won the foot race and dived on the bouncing ball. Walsh added the extras for 12-0.

On the half hour a ball steal by Widnes on their own ten metre line gifted Walsh another two points as Walsh kicked the penalty.

Three minutes were left on the clock when Widnes turned two consecutive penalties into their first points of the evening when Patrick Ah Van found his way to the line and managed to ground on the line before losing the ball under the tackle. Rhys Hanbury pushed his conversion between the uprights for 14-6 at the interval.

On forty-eight the Vikings used two quick penalties and an enforced drop-out before a cheeky Chris Bridge grubber which was picked up and grounded by Tom Olbison for the second Widnes try. Hanbury was unable to convert leaving his side still four points adrift.

As the half wore on, the going got heavier, with both sets of forwards slugging it out on what was increasingly looking like a ploughed field. On seventy-three, and somewhat against the run of play, Rhys Hanbury grounded an Aaron Heremaia grubber kick into the in-goal area. The Widnes full back failed to add the conversion but with just over five minutes on the clock the sides were tied up at 14-14.

Widnes spurned a drop-goal opportunity four from the end but when a kick knock-on gifted the Dragons possession twenty from the line Walsh attempted a drop goal but the ball went under the sticks and the game was drawn.

It wasn't pretty, the conditions were dreadful, and at times there was some poor decision making by both teams. The Dragons dominated the first half but the Vikings fought back well in the second for their first point of the season.

Dragons: Bosc, Broughton, Inu, Wiliame (T), Thornley, Walsh (3G), Myler (T), Burgess, Aiton, Casty, Garcia, Horo, Bird Subs: Margalet, Simon, Anderson, Da Costa.

Vikings: Hanbury (T, G), Thompson, Armstrong, Runciman, Ah Van (T), Bridge, Craven, Dudson, White, Buchanan, Whitley, Houston, Cahill. Subs: Heremaia, Leuluai, Olbison (T), Chapelhow.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Half-Time: 14-6.

Full-Time: 14-14.

Attendance: .
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