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Depending on results elsewhere in Super League, a win for the Catalans Dragons could see them secure a top eight finish in their round twenty-one game. Standing in their way were a Warrington Wolves side, themselves wanting the points to guarantee that they would go into the Super Eights in a top four play-off place and with a shot at getting to the Grand Final.

Wolves coach Steve Price has made two changes to his side with Harvey Livett and Ben Pomeroy returning in place of Dominic Crosby and Morgan Smith. The Dragons were against the odds to get the win with the bookies favouring the Wolves as Steve McNamara named an unchanged seventeen from the side which beat Wakefield last week.

Ahead of kick-off there were nerves on both sides for a crucial encounter.

The Dragons opened their account with just four and a half minutes on the clock when Benjamin Jullien walked through a gaping hole in the Wolves defence off a Tony Gigot pass to score a simple try. Josh Drinkwater added the extras for the best of possible starts for the visitors.

The scores were level on fifteen when Bryson Goodwin collected a pinpoint Kevin Brown grubber kick to drop over the line and when Tyrone Roberts added the conversion it was 6-6.

On eighteen Ben Westwood failed to clear the ruck and the Dragons pointed to the sticks when ben Thaler blew the whistle. Drinkwater slid the penalty between the uprights for a narrow lead.

This time the lead lasted just three minutes. Greg Bird dropped the ball in the tackle and a half break from Stefan Ratchford found Josh Charnley in support to scamper over. Roberts was unable to add the extras but the home side were 10-8 ahead.

A clumsy Warrington try on twenty-five extended their lead. Harvey Livett picked up a dribbled bouncing ball which had been hacked forwards by Ratchford, juggled the ball twice, and dropped over the line under the tackle to score. This time Roberts added the conversion.

But within two minutes Michael McIlorum made Warrington pay for a mix-up under the kick-off when he spotted a gap in the defence, scooted from acting half back, and rolled over the line for a four pointer. Drinkwater added the conversion to again narrow the gap to two points.

When a Dragons player high tackled his own colleagues as they were making a tackle he was penalised for reckless intent and the Wolves were awarded a penalty which Roberts kicked for 18-14.

Three minutes before the interval Tony Gigot levelled the scores when he picked up a Drinkwater grubber kick in the goal areas and grounded, picking up an injury in the act of scoring. Drinkwater’s conversion edged the Dragons into a 20-18 half time lead.

In increasingly heavy rain, the first points of the second half went Warrington’s way after David Mead obstructed close to his own line. Roberts slotted the penalty between the uprights for 20-20.

The Wolves were back in front on fifty-three when Jullien failed to clear the ruck and Roberts kicked another penalty goal.

Bryson Goodwin did brilliantly to deny David Mead a try on fifty-eight as both players chased a kick through as handling conditions became very difficult for the players.

On sixty-seven Mikael Simon was sin-binned for using the knee in retaliation for an open handed slap from Josh Charnley. A minute later and a second quick penalty for the Dragons, a high tackle on Garcia, gave Drinkwater the penalty goal to again level the scores at 22-22.

Gigot missed a drop goal attempt on seventy-three and two minutes later Charnley missed a chance to seal the Warrington win when he knocked on in the act of scoring, as he tried to pick up a grubber and slide over the line.

On seventy-seven Roberts missed a drop goal from right in front of the sticks which would have snatched a Wolves win and a minute later Drinkwater also slid his drop goal attempt wide of the uprights from thirty metres out. Both sides had the chance to win the game but neither could take them and the final hooter sounded the first draw between these two sides at 22-22.

As exciting as the first half had been, the try less second was dull in equal measure. The conditions didn’t help and both teams looked tired as the game wore on. The draw isn’t ideal for either side but both will accept the point and live to fight another week. 

Wolves: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin (T), King, Charnley (T), Brown K, Roberts (5G), Hill, Clark, Cooper, Livett (T), Hughes, Westwood.  Subs: Pomeroy, Patton, Philby, Akauola.

Dragons: Gigot (T), Tierney, Mead, Wiliame, Yaha, Langi, Drinkwater (5G), Casty, McIlorum (T), Simon (SB on 67), Jullien (T), Garcia, Bird.  Subs: Moa, Bousquet, Baitieri, Edwards.

Referee: Ben Thaler.

Half-Time: 18-20.

Full-Time: 22-22.

Attendance: .

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Jul 2018 9:53 PM | Views : 2351 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES
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