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Super League: Widnes fought back to draw 32-32 with Catalan Dragons
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Jack Owens kicked a late penalty as Widnes came back to draw 32-32 in a 12-try thriller with Catalan Dragons.
Morgan Escare ran in a hat-trick of tries for the visitors but the French side ended the game with serious concerns about the health of scrum-half Scott Dureau, who was taken away from the Select Security Stadium in an ambulance after complaining of double vision while lining up a 60th-minute conversion.
Dureau had last week returned to action for the first time after a nine-month lay-off because of a brain tumour. He had been complaining of double vision prior to that but, after undergoing surgery, was given the all-clear to resume his career.
He did so in style at the Magic Weekend, but Sunday's news is a worrying development for the two-time Dream Team member. It overshadowed all that went before it, which had been an end-to-end game between two sides coming off differing results.
Catalan won at the Magic Weekend while Widnes lost to Salford and form was abided by early on, as Steve Menzies created the first try for the Dragons with a nice bit of footwork and kick through as Widnes shot up in the line. Escare managed to collect it and went over for a try out of nothing and Dureau added the extras.
Widnes made a string of errors which did not help their chances of stemming the French pressure but when they finally put a decent passage of play together they were over, Paddy Flynn the beneficiary after Joe Mellor's pass.
It was the visitors who struck next. Full-back Escare raced in for an 80-metre effort as Menzies created the overlap following a simple move from the scrum.
Dureau kicked the conversion but the Dragons' lead was soon pegged back to only two points as Kevin Brown dabbed a delightful kick through for Owens to pounce on.
Brown was then involved in the thick of it again for Widnes as he created another try with a surging run and pass to Rhys Hanbury, who offloaded to Frankie Winterstein. Winterstein should have scored himself but ran out of gas towards the line but luckily for him Cameron Phelps was on his shoulder to collect the pass. Owens missed both conversions but Widnes had shaded the half 14-12.
Winterstein finally got the try he was searching for just after the break as he rampaged his way over as Widnes fizzed the ball from right to left. Owens was again unsuccessful with the conversion but the Vikings were still a converted score in front.
The deficit was cut on 50 minutes as Escare bagged his hat-trick with a barge over from dummy half. Dureau pulled the conversion wide and then Zeb Taia went close but the Vikings managed to hold him up over the line.
They got one that counted, though, as Vincent Duport strolled over as Leon Pryce ran the ball on the last tackle. Greg Mounis hit the goal, taking over from Dureau, who had left the field.
Taia crossed minutes later from the play the ball but Widnes were not done and Owens flew in for a breakaway try to put the game back on a knife-edge after converting his own effort.
Both sides then swapped tries as Kevin Larroyer and Winterstein touched down. Widnes still trailed by two points but 19-year-old Owens hit a late penalty to level the scores two minutes from time.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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