Key Battles - Catalans Dragons

Key Battles - Catalans Dragons widnesvikings.co.uk
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4th June 2018

Widnes Vikings take on Catalans Dragons in the Betfred Super League on Saturday 9th June, kick-off 6:00pm. 

To whet the appetite ahead of the clash, we have taken a look at some potential clashes that could occur at Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday night...

 

Sam Wilde vs Benjamin Jullien

This weekend’s matchup at the Stade Gilbert Brutus promises to be a physical battle, hence why the tough-tackling of both Sam Wilde and Benjamin Jullien will be so imperative.

Wilde and Jullien are no strangers to one-another and will know each other’s games inside-out, having both been a part of the 2017 Warrington Wolves squad.

Wilde has made 463 tackles so far this year, five more than Jullien and 37 more than his nearest Vikings team-mate, Tom Olbison.

Against a Dragons pack renowned for their size and physicality, the hard work of Wilde and co will be a must if the Black and Whites are to come back from France with the two competition points.

 

Joe Mellor vs Greg Bird

A clash like this requires players who can break the line playing at the very top of their game, which is why the matchup between Mellor and Bird promises to be such an intriguing one.

Australian international Bird has been a utility player for the Dragons this season, playing in both the forward pack and the halves, depending on injuries to his team-mates. He is obviously far bigger in size than Mellor, yet both men have broken the defensive line on more than 35 occasions in 2018.

Mellor may have agility on his side, but Bird has the experience needed to unlock defences. With both men playing a crucial part this season for their teams, especially Mellor since his return from injury, it will be intriguing to see how this battle develops over the 80 minutes.

 

Matt Whitley vs Benjamin Garcia

It is not uncommon nowadays for every Super League side to have a try-scoring forward rampaging down the middle and getting over the whitewash.

In the case of the Vikings and Dragons, that mantra falls to Matt Whitley and Ben Garcia. Both men have four league tries to their name this season and are proving to be effective, both in attack and defence.

Whitley, the 2016 Vikings Players’ Player of the year winner, has quickly forged himself a reputation as one of the best young forwards in the English game and will no-doubt enjoy coming up against Garcia, who was once of NRL side Penrith Panthers.

Key Battles - Catalans Dragons widnesvikings.co.uk