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MATCH PREVIEW | Warrington Wolves vs Catalans Dragons

Second place Warrington welcome third place Catalans to the Halliwell Jones for this round 17 Super League clash. Here’s everything you need to know...

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Warrington Wolves

Warrington won last time out in the Cup against Hull KR, winning 22-28. In the league they currently sit Second, and have tasted defeat four times this season, with the last defeat occurring three weeks ago against Hull FC, when they lost 12-19.

Catalans Dragons

For the Dragons they lost last time out to Hull FC, 51-8, also in the cup. But their league form is much better. Currently sitting third, and haven’t tasted defeat in the league since the end of April, where they lost against current league leaders, St Helens, 50-16.

 

SQUAD NEWS

Warrington Wolves

Steve Price has had to make two changes to his 19 man squad following last week’s win at Hull KR. Jake Mamo and Tom Lineham are both suspended, so Jack Johnson and 17 year-old Josh Thewlis comes in.

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If the Wolves under 19 player starts, it would be his first team debut for the club.

Warrington Wolves 19-man squad: Akauola, Austin, Charnley, D. Clark, J. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Davis, Goodwin, Hill, Hughes, Johnson, King, Livett, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Thewlis, Walker

Catalans Dragons 

Steve McNamara has also been forced into some changes from the defeat against Hull FC last time out. Remi Casty, Lewis Tierney and Brayden Wiliame all drop out due to injury, and Ben Jullien, Arthur Romano and Lambert Belmas come in.

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In other news for the Dragons, Greg Bird has announced this week that he will be retiring at the end of the season.

Catalans Dragons 19-man squad: Gigot, Mead, Langi, Smith, McIlorum, Moa, Edwards, Garcia, Bousquet, Simon, Jullien, Whitley, Da Costa, Belmas, Baitieri, Romano, Yaha, Kasiano, Tomkins

 

HEAD TO HEAD

Last time these two met, was at the start of March, when the Dragons won 23-22 in the South of France, through a late Sam Tomkins penalty.  But in the last five meetings between these two sides, Catalans have won two, Warrington have won two and there has also been a draw.

Warrington won both games by winning comfortably, 0-26 and 56-6 respectively Whilst the Dragons have won the close games, including the Challenge Cup win 20-14, and the game mentioned above. The draw was 22-22.

 

KEY BATTLE

Sitaleki Akauola (Warrington Wolves) v Sam Kasiano (Catalan Dragons)

The key battle in this match is between two impact forwards. In the Wolves corner is Sitaleki Akauola. In his second season in the Primrose and blue, he has taken his game to another level.

Scoring on his first appearance back on Easter Monday, and since then has been key in Steve Price’s line-up. With his big runs, fast sprints, and a tackling ability, he is a real threat from anywhere on the park.

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In Catalans corner is Sam Kasiano. Having been a mid-season signing for the Dragons, he has quickly become one of the most feared players in Super League. Having made 110 tackles, 17 offloads and 598 metres in 11 appearances.

He is a powerful runner with the ball, and always looks to make the use of the second play. He will have to be stopped, otherwise the Dragons could make some hard yards.

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THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: 8th June 2019
Venue: The Halliwell Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 15:15
Referee: C Kendall

 

WHO WILL WIN?

I believe that the Wolves will just edge this one. Although both teams are missing key players, the X Factor that Blake Austin has, is something that can make up for it. Wolves by 10.

Rugby League Enthusiast and Sports Journalism Student at the University of Chester. Contributor for the Warrington Wolves Match Day Programme.

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