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Third placed Warrington Wolves welcomes a Catalans Dragons side who were seventh in the early season table to a chilly Halliwell-Jones Stadium for the televised Friday night game in Round Four of Super League 2022.

The visitors were without the services of Sam Tomkins who suffered a concussion last week along with Dean Whare and Michael McIlorum and a very late withdrawal in Fouad Yaha, while Warrington were without Jason Clark who was replaced at loose-forward by Jack Hughes but did have the returning Gareth Widdop at stand-off, amongst several other changes.

Our pre-match Twitter poll suggested that 58.8% expected a Wolves victory.

There was good early pressure from the visitors and Romain Franco missed the chance to open the scoring on eight minutes when he failed to ground a kick through, thanks to the attentions of Josh Charnley.

Tyrone May went close on twelve but two plays later Matt Whitley took a Josh Drinkwater short pass to go through a gap and dive over the line from close. Drinkwater added the extras, in off the far upright. The Dragons good value for their 6-0 lead.

Matty Ashton tried to go alone when he had support on twenty-one and lost the ball in the tackle to Tom Davies.

On twenty-five a Toby King break down the left found Ashton in support ten from the line and the winger found the space to go over in the corner. Stefan Ratchford converted well from the touchline to level the scores.

It had been a lightning fast first forty, played out by two sensational defences who had restricted one another to just one try. There was little to choose between them as they went into the sheds.

A mess in the Warrington defence led to the opening Dragons try of the second half. The high kick was knocked-on by Toby King before being hacked on by Drinkwater and collected by Arthur Romano who rolled in the tackle and got the ball down on the line. Drinkwater added the conversion for a 12-6 lead.

On fifty-three the visitors extended their lead as Mitchell Pearce was on hand to take a pinpoint Drinkwater pass to collect, dive and score in one movement. Drinkwater added the goal and there was daylight between the two sides. The Dragons had hit the accelerator and were speeding ahead.

On sixty-five the Dragons turned defence into attack with Mickael Goudemand chasing his own hack through and managing to regather possession and force the ball onto the line for the fourth Dragons try of the night. Drinkwater added the conversion for 24-6, the points now looking certain to be going to France.

Matt Davis was sin-binned on sixty-nine for a crusher tackle, the Wolves to finish the game with twelve men on the field. Matt Whitley joined him on seventy-five for delaying a Warrington play-the-ball after a fast break downfield.

With three minutes remaining Josh Charnley went over in the corner past a tired Dragons defence and Ratchford added the conversion and a minute later the Wolves winger was in again after chasing his own hack through to ground. Ratchford added the conversion for a respectable final score of 18-24.

It was a game of two halves, the first an edgy, gritty, and even competition, and the second a seeming runaway victory as the Dragons opened up the Wolves defence and took apart the Primrose and Blue to devastating effect over a dominant thirty minutes. The Wolves did manage a late fightback, and picked up two late Charnley tries, but drop their first points of the season as Catalans tuck in neatly behind them in fourth spot.

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford (2G), Charnley (T), Mata´utia, King, Ashton (T), Widdop, Williams, Bullock, Walker, Cooper, Currie, Holmes, Hughes. Subs: Clark D, Philbin, Davis (SB on 69), Mulhern.

Catalans Dragons:  May, Franco, Langi, Romano (T), Davies, Drinkwater (4G), Pearce (T), Dezaria, Da Costa, McMeeken, Whitley (T, SB on 75), Jullien, Garcia. Subs: Seguir, Goudemand (T), Rouge, Kasiano.

Half-Time: 6-6.

Full-Time: 18-24.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 6-6 : HT : 6-10, 6-12, 6-16, 6-18, 6-22, 6-24, (SB), (SB), 10-24, 12-24, 16-24, 18-24 : FT .

Referee: Liam Moore.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 4th Mar 2022 9:50 PM | Views : 14854 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES
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