Super League: Catalans Dragons 20-12 Warrington Wolves
|Betfred Super League|
|Catalans (6) 20|
|Tries: Myler, Bird, Wiliame Goals: Walsh 4|
|Warrington (6) 12|
|Tries: Savelio, Evans Goals: Patton 2|
Catalans Dragons edged a ferociously-fought opening Super League encounter against Warrington.
Andre Savelio had put Wolves in front early on with a debut try, but Richie Myler pounced on an error against his former club in reply.
Greg Bird crossed for a try with Warrington's Tom Lineham sin-binned.
Rhys Evans went in late on to give the Wire hope, but Luke Walsh kicked a penalty and Brayden Wiliame's last-minute score confirmed victory.
Warrington were the nearly men in 2016, losing in the Challenge Cup and Grand Final showpieces, and they showed plenty of endeavour in an attritional battle.
The focus for Tony Smith's side now shifts to the World Club Challenge as England coach Wayne Bennett's Brisbane Broncos come to the Halliwell Jones next week.
Catalans fell away last season after a decent start, but their mettle and defensive effort - typified by the returning Bird, and Justin Horo - gave head coach Laurent Frayssinous cause for optimism over the coming weeks.
The Dragons lost all three games to Warrington, and six times at their Stade Gilbert Brutus home last season, but kicked off the new campaign with an important success.
Players from both teams picked up knocks, notably Dragons winger Fouad Yaha who limped off early on with a knee injury.
Catalans: Wiliame; Broughton, Inu, Duport, Yaha; Walsh, Myler; Bird, Garcia, Horo, Moa, Aiton, Casty.
Replacements: Bousquet, Bosc, Baitieri, Simon.
Warrington: Russell; Evans, T. King, Atkins, Lineham; Patton, Gidley; Cooper, Clark, Sims, Savelio, Hughes, Westerman.
Replacements: Dwyer, Crosby, Livett, Philbin.
Referee: James Child (RFL)