Wakefield Trinity host Catalans Dragons as both teams look to bounce back from losses in Round 11. Wakefield come into the match after pushing Warrington close last time out, while Catalans were put away with a dominant second half performance by Wigan at the DW Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT
Wakefield entered their round 11 clash with Warrington off the back of two losses against Wigan and Castleford. Despite their recent dip in form, the visitors started well against the Wolves with tries from Ashley Gibson and Mason Caton-Brown in the first 10 minutes, both of which were converted by Liam Finn. After leaking a try through Ryan Atkins, Finn put the hosts further ahead going into the break with a 37th minute penalty – making the score 14 – 6 to the visitors. Wakefield extended their lead on the other side of the buzzer through a Tom Johnstone try in the corner. Liam Finn added the extras to extend Wakefield’s lead to 14 points. Wakefield, however, couldn’t halt a Warrington come back, with Chris Hill, Kevin Brown and Tom Lineham crossing the whitewash and Patton converting 2 of the 3 to put the home side up, 22-20 at the final buzzer.
Catalans similarly fell foul of a second half flourish from Wigan to lose 42-22 at the DW Stadium in round 11. Catalans got off to a dire start going down 16-0 in the first 20 minutes after a quick fire double from Tom Davies and a muscular effort from Joe Burgess. Catalans answered back soon after with an impressive finish from Fouad Yaha, which put the visitors within 12 of the cherry and whites. The Catalans side struck again through Tony Gigot as Wigan struggled under the high bomb. Walsh added the extras and the Dragons drew back to within 6 of the defending champions. Wigan continued to struggle under the high bomb, and conceded another when Louis Anderson re-gathered to go in under the sticks, and with Walsh adding the extras, the score was tied at 16-16 going into the half time break. Wigan secured the first score of the half with a try in the corner from Liam Forsyth. Anderson replied and Walsh converted to put the Dragons in the lead with 30 mintues left to play, but the Dragons couldn’t halt a 22 point rampage from Wigan in the final quarter of the game. Tries from Forsyth, Burgess, Marshall, and Williams, and conversions from Sam Powell helped Wigan pull away to win 42-22.
Both sides strengthened their packs at the back end of the season and in the off-season. Wakefield brought in David Fifita at the back end of last season, and bolstered their pack even further with Keegan Hirst from Batley in the off-season. Catalans similarly brought in Greg Bird, Sam Moa and Luke Burgess from the NRL. Bird returns form injury this week with his inclusion in the 19-man squad and Sam Moa is present once again along side. If Wakefield can stand up to the massive Catalans pack and unsettle the visitors, who are renowned for their poor away form, then they will most likely take the spoils. However, as we saw with Warrington last week, if they let a big pack get a roll on they can be in big trouble.
Wakefield have claims in this one after a few good performances where results haven’t gone their way. As always, if Catalans can turn up away from home, they have a lot of points in them. If Wakefield can get stuck into the big Catalans pack early on, they could force a similar result as Wigan did against the Dragons last time out. Considering Catalans inconsistency away from home, Wakefield should have enough in them to take the spoils. Wakefield by 8.
Wakefield Trinity: Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, James Batchelor, Mason Caton-Brown, Anthony England, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Ashley Gibson, Scott Grix, Dean Hadley, Keegan Hirst, Craig Huby, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Danny Kirmond, Jacob Miller, Sam Williams, Kyle Wood
Catalans Dragons: Tony Gigot, Krisnan Inu, Fouad Yaha, Luke Walsh, Richie Myler, Sam Moa, Paul Aiton, Rémi Casty, Louis Anderson, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Ben Garcia, Thomas Bosc, Vincent Duport, Mickael Simo, Iain Thornley, Lucas Albert, Thibaud Margalet, Lambert Belmas.