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HALF TIME: Warrington Wolves 16 Catalan Dragons 6
WOLVES have been patient with their play and built up a decent first-half lead.
After eight minutes of getting to grips with one another, Catalan paid the price for conceding successive penalties for off side.
A strong drive from Chris Hill paved the way for the ball to be swung right where Joel Monaghan accepted Stef Ratchford’s long pass and twisted in and out of defenders for a try converted from the touchline by Brett Hodgson.
Dragons started to benefit from a few penalties and Ryan Atkins had to be both alert and strong to get his body underneath Damien Blanch as a try threatened.
And then Trent Waterhouse pulled off a try-saving tackle on Mickael Simon after the visitors broke Wolves’ line.
A bit of spark was needed in Wolves’ play again and they found it with the help of a little run-around move creating an overlap on the left.
Although Chris Riley was forced into touch, somehow Wolves were awarded the feed at the scrum and lovely handling through Hodgson and Ratchford gave Joel Monaghan the space to diver over for his second try in the 31st minute.
Hodgson was unable to convert but he got another chance four minutes later after Michael Monaghan’s vision and supply allowed Waterhouse to canter away and with support on either side he elected to turn the ball right for Richie Myler to hare home from 30 metres. This time Hodgson was on target from close range for a 16-0 lead.
Another try looked on when Atkins swooped on a loose Catalan pass and scorched to the corner but Leon Pryce was able to cut him off. Full back Brent Webb was deemed to have prevented a quick Riley play-the-ball on the next tackle and was shown a yellow card.
Nothing came of the attack for Wolves and a penalty aided Catalan’s journey down the field to strike in the second minute of added time.
Riley was caught one-on-one with Blanch after Pryce’s long pass and the visiting winger bulldozed his way through Riley and over the whitewash. Thomas Bosc converted for 16-6 at half time.