Catalans Dragons 32-12 Widnes Vikings

Catalans Dragons 32-12 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk
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9th June 2018

Widnes Vikings were beaten 32-12 by Catalans Dragons on a warm Saturday evening at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

The home side started strongly, and had a number of sets on the Vikings’ try-line, but Francis Cummins’ side stood strong and kept the Dragons out with some superb goal-line defence.

This defence proved vital, as the Vikings went down-field and scored the first points of the game on the 10 minute mark. Aaron Heremaia grubber kicked the ball into the Dragons’ in-goal on the last, the ball was fumbled by the French outfit, and Jay Chapelhow was the first to respond and touch down. Danny Craven converted the try.

Jay’s brother, Ted Chapelhow, thought he had extended the Vikings’ lead a few minutes later after picking up a loose ball from a Gigot knock on, but a superb cover tackle dislodged the ball from Ted and the play was pulled back for the Gigot fumble.

The Dragons’ reprieve did not last for long as Rhys Hanbury crossed the whitewash from the next play. From the scrum, the Vikings shifted the ball with good hands to their right edge out to Hanbury, and Rhys was able to beat a defender and go over in the right hand corner. Danny Craven missed the conversion.

Francis Cummins’ side thought they had extended their lead further as Matt Whitley touched down from a Craven grubber, but the video referee chalked off the try as it was ruled that Owen Farnworth was inside the 10 metres after initially being offside.

The Dragons took advantage of this, and got themselves back in the contest as Tony Gigot touched down. Josh Drinkwater dabbed the ball through on the last tackle after seeing Hanbury defending in the line, and Gigot was able to be first to the ball and score close to the sticks. Josh Drinkwater converted the try.

Five minutes later, and the Dragons levelled up the scoreboard as Brayden Wiliame grabbed a try. Louis Anderson made the original break for the home side down the centre of the field, but was halted well by Hanbury. On the next tackle, Drinkwater kicked through, Marsh was not able to gather the ball, and William dropped onto the ball for a simple score. Drinkwater missed the conversion.

The only remaining action of the first half was the penalty goal that separated the sides at the break from half back Josh Drinkwater for the Dragons, who opted to take the shot at goal as three Vikings markers at the play-the-ball was penalised by Chris Kendall. 

Half-Time: Catalans Dragons 12-10 Widnes Vikings

The Vikings responded well at the start of the second half, and levelled the scores up as Ah Van converted a penalty. Jay Chapelhow was hit off-the-ball by Julian Bousquet, and the prop forward was sent to the sin-bin for the offence. 

A piece of invention from the Dragons’ full back, Tony Gigot, put the home side back into the lead. After being forced in-goal by the Vikings for a drop-out, Gigot grubber kicked for himself and collected the ball, made 50 metres down-field and won a penalty. Drinkwater converted the penalty from 40 metres out to give the Dragons a two point lead.

Steve McNamara’s side extended their lead to eight points as Remi Casty crossed the try-line. Put into position on the back of a penalty for a high tackle, the Dragons hit Casty on a short ball close to the line and he got the ball down. Josh Drinkwater converted the try.

The Dragons stretched their lead further as Kenny Edwards grabbed his first try for the Dragons. Michael McIlorum darted out from dummy half, hit Edwards on a short ball, and he was able to beat Marsh and Mellor to touch down. Josh Drinkwater converted the try.

The home side had the last say of the evening as Fouad Yaha scored with two minutes remaining. Hauraki dropped the ball, and on the free play Drinkwater dabbed the ball through. Yaha then prodded the ball through for himself, and beat Jay Chapelhow to the ball to touch down before the dead ball line. Drinkwater converted the try to hand the Dragons the two points.

Full-Time: Catalans Dragons 32-12 Widnes Vikings

Catalans - Gigot, Tierney, Mead, Wiliame, Yaha, Bird, Drinkwater, Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Casty. Subs: Anderson, Bousquet, Maria, Edwards.

Widnes - Hanbury, Ince, Marsh, Runciman, Ah Van, Mellor, Craven, J.Chapelhow, Heremaia, T.Chapelhow, Hauraki, Whitley, Olbison. Subs: Leuluai, Wilde, Johnstone, Farnworth.

Catalans Dragons 32-12 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk