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MATCH PREVIEW | Catalans Dragons vs Wakefield Trinity

Catalans Dragons are desperate to end their five-game losing streak in all competitions and need to if they are to maintain their push for a play-off spot. Wakefield Trinity, having snapped their own six-game losing streak with victory against Huddersfield Giants last time out, will be right back in the hunt for a top-five finish with a victory on Saturday. Here’s everything you need to know.

 

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Catalans Dragons

The French outfit are desperately struggling for form, with their last win having come against Wakefield back in May at Magic Weekend. Since then, the Dragons have twice been beaten heavily by Hull FC, home and away as well as suffering a disappointing home defeat to London Broncos. Last time out they were beaten 31-12 by Leeds Rhinos with few signs of improvement at Emerald Headingley last weekend. Currently, in sixth-place, Catalans’ know a win puts them right back in the mix for a play-off spot and could move as high as third if other results go their way.

Wakefield Trinity

Trinity won their first game since early May, in Super League, last time out, beating Huddersfield 36-10 to end a disappointing run of results. That run included conceding 40 plus points against London, St Helens and Salford Red Devils as well as failing to register a point in a home defeat to rivals Leeds. Wakefield are eighth in the standings and with victory on Saturday could jump four places up the table putting them back in the race for an end of season play-off spot.

 

SQUAD NEWS

Catalans Dragons

Catalans’ have made four changes to their 19-man squad from last weekend’s defeat to Leeds.

Hooker Micky McIlorum, half-back Tony Gigot and back-rowers Matt Whitley and Kenny Edwards all return to the squad having recovered from their respective injuries.

The French side lost both Sam Moa and Jason Baitieri to long-term injuries in the week with Moa ruled out for up to 16 weeks with a broken forearm and Baitieri ruled out for up to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a ligament in his foot.

Remi Casty is one appearance away from making 350 in this career whilst Sam Tonkins is one appearance away from acheiving 300 in his career.

Catalans’ 19-man squad: Gigot, Broughton, Mead, Wiliame, Langi, Smith, Casty, McIlorum, Edwards, Garcia, Bousquet, Simon, Whitley, Da Costa, Albert, Maria, Romano, Kasiano, Tomkins.

Wakefield Trinity

Chris Chester has made two changes to his squad after ending their losing run in Super League last time out.

Joe Arundel is back in the Trinity squad for the first time since suffering a pectoral injury against Castleford Tigers on Good Friday and replaces Jack Croft in the 19-man squad.

Wakefield have made one other change to the squad from last Friday’s win against Huddersfield with Lee Kershaw replacing the unavailable Mason Caton-Brown.

Danny Brough needs to kick seven more goals to reach 1,000 goals in Super League.

Wakefield’s 19-man squad: Arundel, Brough, Crowther, England, Fifita, Gwaze, Hampshire, Hirst, Jones-Bishop, Kershaw, King, Kopczak, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tanginoa, Tupou, Wood.

 

HEAD TO HEAD

The side’s last met at Magic Weekend back in May with Catalans edging out Wakefield 25-18 at Anfield when, the returning, Gigot produced an excellent individual display. However, Wakefield have beaten the Dragons this season, winning 22-12 back in February, thanks in large part to the boot of Brough.

Wakefield have won on each of their last three visists to Perpignan with Catalans failing to beat the West Yorkshire club at home since June 2015.

 

KEY BATTLE

Tony Gigot (Catalans) v Danny Brough (Wakefield)

French half-back Gigot was the match-winner for Catalans’ when the side’s last met and having him back in the squad for the first time in two matches could be crucial to reinvigorating the Dragons season. He grabbed a try, two assists, four goals and a drop goal in the French outfit’s 25-18 success against Wakefield back in May, from full-back, and if he’s at his very best on Saturday could cause more trouble for Trinity.

Half-back Brough was the instrumental player in Wakefield’s 22-12 win against Catalans back in February with his excellent goal-kicking and game management guiding Trinity to a 10-point victory. The 36-year-old’s experience will be a vital asset to Trinity as we head into the back end of the season and is he is able to get his kicking game going early could stifle the Dragons attacking threat.

Both players have an eye for a drop goal, with Gigot kicking five and Brough four, this season and they are also two of just 12 players to have produced a forty-twenty kick in Super League this season.

 

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Saturday 6th July
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Kick-off: 5:00pm BST
Referee: Liam Moore

 

WHO WILL WIN?

With both side’s struggling for form recently this should be a very intriguing contest. Catalans have a host of first-team players returning to the squad and will want to snap their five-game losing streak in all competitions. Wakefield may have won last time out but they also need to improve their form if they are to reach the end of season play-offs. Defeat for Trinity on Saturday could create a four-point gap between themselves and fifth-place making this a must win for the Dreadnoughts. Catalans to win by eight points.

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