Catalans 32-12 Widnes: Josh Drinkwater stars in Dragons win
Last Updated: 09/06/18 8:26pm
A superb performance from Josh Drinkwater ensured Catalans Dragons continued their revival as they claimed a 32-12 win over Widnes in the Betfred Super League.
The former Leigh half-back kicked six goals and had a hand in three tries as the Dragons came from behind to secure a fifth win in a row.
In Francis Cummins' first game in interim charge following Denis Betts' sacking last week, Widnes were looking to halt a losing streak that ran back to March.
A scrappy opening 10 minutes saw Catalans start the brighter of the two sides, forcing a goal-line drop-out before a penalty allowed Widnes to counter. Aaron Heremaia's grubber to the in-goal area was missed by Greg Bird and pounced on by Jay Chapelhow to the right of the posts.
Danny Craven added the conversion to give the visitors an early six-point lead.
Widnes had their tails up and in the 15th minute Tony Gigot dropped a high bomb, the ball was collected by Ted Chapelhow and in the act of scoring David Mead dislodged the ball to save a certain try.
From the resulting scrum, Rhys Hanbury ran across the Catalans' line and dummied his way over to extend Widnes' lead. Craven missed the conversion and the score remained 0-10.
A short ball from Drinkwater to Remi Casty saw the Catalans' skipper lose control of the ball in the act of scoring as the home side looked to get themselves back into the game.
Widnes had a try ruled out for offside after 25 minutes as Matt Whitley touched down Joe Mellor's grubber kick. From the penalty, Catalans marched upfield and a smart grubber kick from Drinkwater was collected and touched down by Gigot. Drinkwater added the conversion to make it 6-10.
Brayden Wiliame levelled the scores following a Louis Anderson break, with another Drinkwater grubber to the in-goal area fumbled by Stefan Marsh and touched down by Wiliame. Drinkwater missed the conversion.
With three minutes of the first half remaining, Drinkwater gave Catalans the lead for the first time with a penalty goal from 30 metres.
Six minutes after half-time, Julian Bousquet was sent to the sin-bin for an off-the-ball tackle on Jay Chapelhow. Patrick Ah Van added the penalty to level the scores at 12-12.
Drinkwater added a penalty from 40 metres to see the Dragons regain the lead after 55 minutes following good work from Gigot, who had won the penalty.
On the hour, Casty charged onto a short pass from Michael McIlorum to score to the right of the posts. Drinkwater added the conversion to give the hosts an eight-point lead.
The Dragons had all the momentum in the final quarter, with Kenny Edwards adding a short-range try on his home debut and Drinkwater's conversion taking the score to 26-12.
In the closing minutes of the game, Fouad Yaha touched down from Drinkwater's neat grubber to extend the home side's margin of victory.