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It was a tough Magic Weekend tie for a Warrington Wolves side in freefall as they were drawn to take the field against a Catalans Dragons who had just been pushed into fourth spot by the Huddersfield Giants and who were looking to regain their third spot, or if they could pile on the misery, then possibly make it up to second on points difference.

The Dragons were favourites with the bookies, Warrington getting an eight-point start on the handicap coupon, and most pundits believed that this would be another loss to add to the catalogue of Wolves losses so far in 2022.

The sides have met twice so far this season, the Dragons victors on both occasions, but this time the French side were missing a few key players due to injury and suspension.

A bittersweet start for Warrington as Gareth Widdop was instrumental on two minutes when Matty Ashton broke downfield before passing inside to his full back who first stumbled but managed to roll over the line, injuring his shoulder in the process and leaving the field immediately. Stefan Ratchford was wide with his conversion.

On eight minutes Samisoni Langi dove for the line from dummy half and after confirmation from the video referee the try was given, and the scores level. Sam Tomkins added the extras for a 6-4 lead.

A mistake from Arthur Romano in fielding a harmless looking grubber kick allowed Jake Wardle to dribble the ball over the line and ground one-handed for a try in the fifteenth minute. Ratchford was able to add the conversion and double the lead to four points.

A Dragons ball steal on nineteen, forty metres out but in front of the sticks, allowed Ratchford a penalty goal to push the lead to six points.

The Wolves were gaining in confidence and went in again on twenty-six with Matty Nicholson receiving the ball from George Williams in plenty of space to press the loud pedal and motor over. Ratchford added the conversion, in off the far upright, and somewhat against expectations it was 18-6 to the Wolves.

Nicholson went close again three minutes later but good defence from Matt Whitley prevented him from grounding.

Ninety seconds before the interval Tomkins fumbled a Williams kick through and the loose ball was picked up by a grateful Ratchford to dot down. The Wolves stand-off added the conversion to his won try for a 24-6 half time lead, one of the best forty minutes from Warrington so far this season.

Five minutes after the restart the Wolves were in for their fifth try of the afternoon. Josh Thewlis picked up a loose ball ten from his own line and he sprinted the length of the field, improving the angle to score under the posts. Ratchford added the conversion for 30-6, the Dragons getting a thrashing.

Sam Tomkins scored the Dragons second try of the game on fifty-six when he took the pass and ran the angle to score from ten metres out. Tomkins was wide with his conversion, Catalans still twenty behind.

The icing on the cake came on seventy-three with George Williams taking advantage of three offloads to canter in under the crossbar. Ratchford added the conversion for 36-10 a stunning Warrington team performance, especially after losing Widdop in the opening minutes.

Peter Mata´utia was sin-binned with a minute ofthe game remaining after holding down in the tackle but it made no difference as the clock ran down to the final hooter.

Few would have predicted this outcome at the start of the game, but it will delight Daryl Powell and the Wolves supporters while Dragons´ coach Steve McNamara will put it down as a bad day in the office and look to get back to winning ways next week against Salford. Warrington will winder where this performance has been hiding all season, credit to the Wolves debutants who impressed as they tried to establish their place in the side long term.

Catalans Dragons: Tomkins (T, G), Yaha, Langi (T), May, Romano, Drinkwater, Pearce, Dudson, Da Costa, Goudemand, Whitley, Jullien, Garcia.  Subs: Seguier, Laguerre, Le Cam, Chan.

Warrington Wolves: Widdop (T), Thewlis (T), Mata´utia (SB on 78), Wardle (T), Ashton, Ratchford (T, 6G), Williams (T),  Mulhern, Clark D, Harrison, Currie, Nicholson (T), Clark J. Subs: Bullock, Holmes, Dean, Mikaele.

Half-Time: 6-24.  

Full-Time: 10-36.

Score Progression: 0-4, 4-4, 6-4, 6-8, 6-10, 6-12, 6-16, 6-18, 6-22, 6-24 : HT : 6-28, 6-30, 10-30, 10-34, 10-36, (SB): FT.

Lead Exchanges: Warrington – Square – Catalans – Warrington.

Referee: Jack Smith.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 10th Jul 2022 5:10 PM | Views : 10464 | Replies : 4 | BACK TO STORIES
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