Aaron Sutcliffe reviews Catalans Dragons comfortable win against Wakefield Trinity as the French side advance to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup. Here’s how the action unfolded.
|6th||Try David Mead (Catalans)||Catalans 4-0 Wakefield|
|8th||Goal James Maloney (Catalans)||Catalans 6-0 Wakefield|
|24th||Try Fouad Yaha (Catalans)||Catalans 10-0 Wakefield|
|25th||Goal James Maloney (Catalans)||Catalans 12-0 Wakefield|
|31st||Try Jay Pitts (Wakefield)||Catalans 12-4 Wakefield|
|32nd||Goal Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield)||Catalans 12-6 Wakefield|
|34th||Goal James Maloney (Catalans)||Catalans 14-6 Wakefield|
|37th||Try David Mead (Catalans)||Catalans 18-6 Wakefield|
|39th||Goal James Maloney (Catalans)||Catalans 20-6 Wakefield|
|46th||Try Jay Pitts (Wakefield)||Catalans 20-10 Wakefield|
|48th||Goal Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield)||Catalans 20-12 Wakefield|
|55th||Jay Pitts (Wakefield) – SIN BIN||Catalans 20-12 Wakefield|
|55th||Michael McIlorum (Catalans) – SIN BIN||Catalans 20-12 Wakefield|
|56th||Try Benjamin Garcia (Catalans)||Catalans 24-12 Wakefield|
|60th||Try David Mead (Catalans)||Catalans 28-12 Wakefield|
|61st||Goal James Maloney (Catalans)||Catalans 30-12 Wakefield|
|64th||Try Matt Whitley (Catalans)||Catalans 34-12 Wakefield|
|65th||Goal James Maloney (Catalans)||Catalans 36-12 Wakefield|
|76th||Try Tinirau Arona (Wakefield)||Catalans 36-16 Wakefield|
|77th||Goal Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield)||Catalans 36-18 Wakefield|
|78th||Try Jacob Miller (Wakefield)||Catalans 36-22 Wakefield|
|79th||Goal Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield)||Catalans 36-24 Wakefield|
Following Catalans comprehensive win against Wakefield in Super League last week, it was no surprise that the Dragons started on the front foot at the John Smith’s Stadium.
David Mead touched down for the game’s first try, after just six minutes, following a superb kick through by Josh Drinkwater.
Heavy downpours made for tricky conditions in Yorkshire as both teams struggled for quality in the first quarter of the game.
Catalans extended their lead when Drinkwater produced another fine kick that landed directly into the hands of Fouad Yaha who slid over in the corner.
Wakefield responded with their first try of the game just past the half hour mark when Jacob Miller broke up-field before Ryan Hampshire’s grubber kick was touched down by Jay Pitts.
Trinity were then penalised for a high tackle in front of their own posts minutes later, allowing James Maloney to comfortably kick his third goal of the game.
The Dragons added a third try in the final minutes of the first half, when another Drinkwater kick was well caught by Mead who dotted down to send Catalans into the interval with a 14-point lead.
Chris Chester’s side came flying out of the blocks in the second half and deservedly scored their second try six minutes into the second period.
Hampshire produced another excellent grubber kick, which was touched down by a combination of Pitts and Max Jowitt, after Yaha slipped when attempting to remove the danger.
A scuffle broke out after a high shot by Michael McIlorum on Romain Navarrete, with players piling in from both sides, which resulted in both departing the field with bloody foreheads and being sent to the sin bin.
From the resulting penalty, which strangely went in Catalans favour despite McIlorum making the initial infringement, Benjamin Garcia ran out of dummy half and forced his way over the line to put the Dragons back in control.
The French side scored a lovely try on the hour mark, working the ball from their own 20-metre line, through the tackles, before Drinkwater set-up Mead who went over for his hat-trick.
Drinkwater was once again the architect for Catalans as he set-up the Dragons sixth try with a perfectly placed grubber kick that was touched down by Matt Whitley.
Wakefield scored a consolation try in the final few minutes when Tinirau Arona stepped away from Garcia before dotting down for a simple try.
Jacob Miller then burst onto Kyle Wood’s kick through before diving over the try line to add some respectability to the scoreline in the final two minutes.
Victory for Catalans’ means they will play Salford Red Devils in the quarter-finals as they attempt to win the competition for a second time in three seasons.
In a game that lacked any real spectacular moments, the highlight has to be David Mead’s hat-trick try.
Catalans’ worked the ball nicely up the field, going through the tackles, before Mead was sent over the try line by the influential Josh Drinkwater for the Dragons fifth try of the game.
This came minutes after both Michael McIlorum and Jay Pitts had been sent to the sin bin, an incident which appeared to work in Catalans favour, breaking Wakefield’s early second-half momentum.
The Dragons scored three tries without reply when both teams were temporarily reduced to 12-men and sparked Steve McNamara’s side into life after a lackluster start to the second period.
Catalans Dragons: Mourgue, Davies, Mead, Folau, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Casty, McIlorum, Maria, Whitley, J.Tomkins, Garcia
Interchanges: Jullien, Goudemand, Baitieri, Kasiano
Wakefield Trinity: Walker, Jowitt, Croft, Tupou, Senior, Hampshire, Miller, Arona, Wood, Fifita, Pitts, Ashurst, Westerman
Interchanges: Crowther, Navarrete, Tanginoa, Kopczak