Catalans Match Preview

Catalans Match Preview widnesvikings.co.uk
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7th June 2018

Widnes Vikings travel to the Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday evening to take on the Catalans Dragons, hoping to climb off the foot of the Betfred Super League table and keep their top eight chances alive.

Francis Cummins takes charge of the Vikings for the first time on Saturday. His side have a wonderful record over the Dragons and are unbeaten in their last four meetings, including a commanding 40-12 victory at the Halton Stadium in round one. 

However, the Vikings’ most memorable clash against Steve McNamara’s side came last September; a game in which tries from Corey Thompson and Stefan Marsh secured our top-flight survival with an enthralling 12-10 victory in the south of France.  

With just two places separating ourselves and the Dragons in the league standings and the Vikings unbeaten in the Perpignan since 2016, this promises to be an exciting matchup. We have provided all the key information, facts and statistics ahead of the big clash.

 

Tickets

The Vikings' allocation of tickets for the trip to Perpignan are now SOLD OUT. Tickets are available from the Stade Gilbert Brutus for those that are making the trip and have yet to purchase a ticket. 

 

Squad news

Francis Cummins has made five changes to the Vikings side that took on Wakefield Trinity two weeks ago.

Weller Hauraki looks set to make his debut, having been brought straight into the 19-man squad. Rhys Hanbury also comes back into the mix after his recent injury, while there are also returns for Ted Chapelhow, Brad Walker and Ryan Ince.

Wellington Albert and Danny Walker both make way alongside the injured Hep Cahill. Ed Chamberlain and Greg Burke are the other two to drop out, after their moves to Salford were confirmed this week.

Widnes Vikings 19-man squad: Patrick Ah Van, Jay Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Danny Craven, Owen Farnworth, Tom Gilmore, Rhys Hanbury, Weller Hauraki, Aaron Heremaia, Ryan Ince, Jordan Johnstone MacGraff Leuluai, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Tom Olbison, Charly Runciman, Brad Walker, Matt Whitley, Sam Wilde

Steve McNamara has made just one change to the Dragons side, following last week’s Challenge Cup quarter-final triumph over the Huddersfield Giants.

Jodie Broughton is ruled out through injury and is replaced by Fouad Yaha.

Catalans Dragons 19-man squad: David Mead, Brayden Williame, Fouad Yaha, Samisoni Langi, Rémi Casty, Sam Moa, Louis Anderson, Benjamin Garcia, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Mika Simon, Michael McIlorum, Lewis Tierney, Benjamin Jullien, Antoni Maria, Tony Gigot, Mickael Goudemand, Josh Drinkwater, Kenny Edwards

 

Form

The Vikings have endured a difficult period of results in recent months. The Black and Whites last recorded a victory in April, against Coventry Bears in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, and will be hoping to rediscover their winning formula in Perpignan.

Interim Head Coach Francis Cummins has called for his players to work together for the good of the team, something which was extremely visible in the Vikings win over the Dragons at the beginning of 2018.

However, Widnes come up against a Catalans side full of confidence. The French side have won six of their last seven games and now lie just one point adrift of the top eight. In addition, the Dragons booked their place in the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup last week with a hard-fought 20-6 victory over the Huddersfield Giants.

However, prior to April, the Dragons had lost seven of their opening eight Super League games. The Vikings will need to be on top of their game if they are to inflict a losing feeling on McNamara’s side one again.

Widnes Vikings:  LLWLLLLL                             Catalans Dragons: LWWLWWWW

 

Head to Head - LAST 6 MEETINGS

February 4, 2018: Widnes Vikings 40-12 Catalans Dragons

September 23, 2017: Catalans Dragons 10-12 Widnes Vikings

June 4, 2017: Widnes Vikings 26-6 Catalans Dragons

March 4, 2017: Catalans Dragons 14-14 Widnes Vikings

August 6, 2016: Catalans Dragons 26-10 Widnes Vikings

July 24, 2016: Widnes Vikings 32-4 Catalans Dragons

 

Milestones

Patrick Ah Van                1 try will take Patrick through 600 points (602) in Super League

                                     2 tries will take Patrick to 100 tries in the British game

 

Tom Gilmore                  3 points will take Tom to 200 career points

 

Aaron Heremaia             5 points will take Aaron to 300 career points in both hemispheres

 

Tom Olbison                   2 tries will take Tom to 100 career points

Catalans Match Preview widnesvikings.co.uk