Catalans Dragons 10-12 Widnes Vikings

Catalans Dragons 10-12 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk
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23rd September 2017

Widnes Vikings held on for a dramatic 12-10 victory at the Stade Gilbert Brutus to secure the Club’s Super League place for 2018.

In a nervy opening 10 minutes, both sides produced errors, with the game lacking any real flow. The first points of the game came from the boot of Australian half back, Luke Walsh, as he converted a penalty from in front of the sticks as Houston conceded a penalty on Richie Myler.

The Vikings had all the territory and field position following Walsh’s penalty, but struggled to get over the try line with good defence from the home side. The scores were levelled up shortly afterwards though, as Tom Gilmore superbly converted a penalty attempt, after Corey Thompson was blocked by Duport on his kick chase. 

The Vikings went in front for the first time in the game through another penalty from Tom Gilmore. Danny Craven broke superbly from the Vikings’ own half to put the away side into position, and were rewarded shortly after as the Dragons gave away a penalty on Buchanan after scrambling defence. 

The Vikings were then reduced to 12 men after Chris Houston was sent to the sin bin by referee Phil Bentham for a high shot on Margalet. After receiving a further penalty for a ball strip close to the Vikings’ line, Walsh levelled the scores once more with a penalty conversion to end the scoring for the half in a tense and nervy affair.

Half-Time: Catalans Dragons 10-12 Widnes Vikings

The second half started in the same manner that the first half, with both sides taking the ball up the middle, testing out the other and trying to force errors.

The first try of the game eventually came 15 minutes into the second half, and it was the away side that grabbed it through Corey Thompson in the left hand corner. After surviving a lot of pressure from the Dragons on their own line, Denis Betts’ side got up the other end to post points. The Vikings went left, Cahill’s pass hit the deck and eventually found Runciman and Charly passed out to Thompson to sneak in at the corner. Gilmore could not convert from the touchline.

The Vikings stretched their lead to 8 points shortly afterwards as Stefan Marsh crossed the away side. Charly Runciman broke superbly after collecting a flat Gilmore pass, but was tackled just short. Houston passed out to Craven, who hit the deck, but flew a wonderful looping pass out to Stefan Marsh to collect and dive over. Gilmore hit the post and missed the conversion.

The Dragons rallied following Marsh’s try and responded with 9 minutes on the clock through Julian Bousquet. Mellor’s knock on put the Dragons into position, and Albert passed flat to Bousquet, who barged over under the sticks. Luke Walsh converted the try to close the gap to two points.

Despite the Dragons’ best efforts to get their second try of the night, the away side’s defence stood strong magnificently and held on for a tight two point victory on a famous night in Perpignan.

Full-Time: Catalans Dragons 10-12 Widnes Vikings.

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