Dragons given scare by Wildcats

Catalan Dragons 32
Tries: Pomeroy, Inu, Pelissier, Escare, Anderson
Goals: Dureau 6/6

Wakefield Wildcats 12
Tries: Riley, Godinet
Goals: Miller 2/2

Catalan Dragons recorded a 32-12 win over Wakefield, but they were pushed all the way by Super League’s bottom side.

The Wildcats trailed by just two points with eight minutes to play but fell to a 16th consecutive league defeat.

Victory for the Dragons moves them above Warrington into 6th spot while Wakefield remain rooted to the foot of the table.

Krisnan Inu marked his debut for the French side with a try early on while Scott Dureau was perfect with the boot, adding 12 points.

Thomas Bosc was forced off the field with an injury in the second period; the half-back reemerged on the sidelines on crutches and with an ice pack on his knee after receiving treatment.

It looked as though it would be a routine win for Catalan at the Gilbert Brutus as they raced into a 12-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes.

First, Ben Pomeroy scored after the Dragons moved the ball left from a 20-metre restart. Morgan Escare’s pass to Fouad Yaha set the young winger away before he returned the ball to the full-back who had Pomeroy in support to touch down under the posts.

Inu’s debut try came five minutes later, the Kiwi international beat Chris Riley before handing off Jacob Miller to cross on the right-hand side and another heavy Wildcats loss looked on the cards.

But Brian Smith’s men rallied, Riley managed to stop Elliott Whitehead from going over and extending the lead as the Wildcats defence frustrated the home side.

Ian Kirke went off after catching a stray finger in the eye, before Pita Godinet controversially had a try disallowed by the video referees.

Dureau’s high kick to the corner was knocked back by Inu but Tony Gigot couldn’t gather the loose ball and instead Godinet raced 90 metres down field to score, but the officials chalked it off as they deemed Reece Lyne had tackled Gigot while not in possession.

Five minutes into the second half Wakefield did get themselves on the board as Lyne found Riley to score down Catalan’s right edge.

Inu had a second try disallowed for a forward pass, although that looked harsh, and five minutes later it was all square.

Tim Smith passed to Godinet and he fended off Escare before withstanding Remi Casty’s attempted tackle to score. Jacob Miller’s second successful conversion made it 12-12 after 55 minutes.

The video referees turned down anoter possible Wakefield try – this time Richie Owen had tried to force his way over from close range. However, replays didn’t show conclusively that the former Castleford man had grounded the ball and referee Phil Bentham’s initial decision of no try was upheld.

Escare attempted a drop goal from 20 metres out but sliced his effort just wide of the sticks with just under a quarter of the game to go.

Dureau did put his side back in the lead via his boot after the Wildcats had been penalised for holding down Louis Anderson in the tackle.

The West Yorkshire got themselves into some promising positions but couldn’t quite find the score to take them in front for the first time in the game.

The home fans seemed on edge with the game still in the balance so the relief was palpable when Eloi Pelissier’s try clinched the game seven minutes from the hooter. Jason Baitieri offloaded despite the attentions of Paul McShane and the French hooker showed neat footwork to evade Miller and score under the sticks.

A minute later Escare scored his fifth try of the season on the back of a strong run down the wing by Yaha and Anderson touched down two minutes from time to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Wakefield have next week off while Catalan travel to Humberside to take on Hull KR in the Challenge Cup Quarter-Final on Thursday evening.

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