Warrington Wolves 34-4 Catalans Dragons: Five-try hosts fight back for comfortable win
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 08/06/19 6:07pm
Warrington Wolves recovered from going behind early on to see off Catalans Dragons 34-4 in Saturday’s Super League match.
It was a frantic opening to the contest at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and the Catalans made their early pressure count when Fouad Yaha went over on the right wing for an unconverted try to open the scoring.
But Warrington hit back in the final 10 minutes before the break to lead 12-4 at half-time, with Daryl Clark racing in for a superb solo score followed by the hooker sending Blake Austin darting over for a try.
They continued to turn the screw in the second half and further tries from Bryson Goodwin, Sitaleki Akauola and Josh Charnley, plus seven goals from Dec Patton, secured a comfortable win for the hosts.
The victory saw the second-placed Wolves open up a six-point gap over the third-placed Dragons and close the gap on leaders St Helens to four before they take on London Broncos on Sunday.
Warrington were forced into a reshuffle in the backs with Tom Lineham and Jake Mamo both suspended and Ryan Atkins and Stefan Ratchford out injured. That meant a full debut for 17-year-old Josh Thewlis at full-back while Jack Johnson came in on the wing in two changes from the side that won at Hull KR in the Coral Challenge Cup.
Catalans made five changes from the side that lost 51-8 at Hull FC with Arthur Romano, Mickael Simon, Lambert Belmas, Benjamin Jullien and Matty Smith coming in for Brayden Wiliame, Lewis Tierney, Remi Casty, Kenny Edwards and Alrix Da Costa.
The opening exchanges were ferocious, with some hard-hitting defence from both sides, and Thewlis did well to stand firm as the Dragons targeted him with some early high kicks.
It was the visitors who managed to break the deadlock on 17 minutes when Tony Gigot's long pass allowed Yaha to squeeze over in the left-hand corner, with the score confirmed by the video referee.
Catalans were good value for their four-point advantage as they went toe to toe with the Wolves but the whole complexion of the game changed as Warrington struck with two tries in the final nine minutes of the half.
Firstly there was a fine solo score from Clark, who scooted clear from 30 metres out and evaded the clutches of four Catalans defenders to touch down.
Then, two minutes before half-time, Clark turned provider as his drop-off pass to Austin saw the Australian blast through the Catalans cover for his 18th try of the season.
Patton was on target with both conversions to give Warrington an eight-point advantage at half-time, and he added an early second-half penalty.
The game once again became a real forwards battle until two tries in five minutes just past the hour mark broke the Catalans' resistance and made the game safe for the home side.
Firstly, Goodwin blasted his way through from 30 metres out and then Akauola managed to touch down despite the attentions of three Catalans defenders. Patton maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot to stretch the lead to 26-4.
Warrington completed the win when Charnley touched down his own kick after Gigot fumbled the ball over the line five minutes from time. Patton again converted and rounded off the scoring with a last-minute penalty.
Man-of-the-match Daryl Clark felt the Wolves forward stepped up in what is always a physical match against the Catalans.
Warrington head coach Steve Price saw plenty of encouraging individual displays in the win over the Dragons.