Super League: Warrington Wolves 24-16 Catalans Dragons
|Betfred Super League|
|Warrington: (12) 24|
|Tries: Jullien, Atkins 2, Savelio Goals: Gidley 4|
|Catalans: (10) 16|
|Tries: Thornley, Myler 2 Goals: Walsh 2|
Former England boss Steve McNamara's first game as Catalans Dragons head coach ended in a narrow defeat at a much-improved Warrington Wolves.
After Jodie Broughton's early opening try for Catalans, Benjamin Jullien and Ryan Atkins' scores put Wolves on top, before Richie Myler restored parity.
Atkins and Myler exchanged second-half tries as the Dragons enforced a nervy finish at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
But Andre Savelio's late score ensured Wire ended their six-game winless run.
Victory was Wolves' seventh consecutive home win over Catalans - who last won at Warrington in 2011 - and saw them leapfrog the French side into ninth in the Super League table.
After a bright start, Brougton crossed inside four minutes after good hands from Iain Thornley, but Luke Walsh's conversion was missed.
But the hosts took the lead when Kurt Gidley did get his extras after Jullien had crashed over, and Atkins dived over to make it 10-4.
Then Myler stepped through to bring the visitors level, but Gidley's kick just before the break gave the hosts a slender half-time lead.
After another two from Gidley, Atkins' second try gave Warrington some breathing space, before Catalans' Myler latched onto his own clever grubber kick to score and set up a tense finish.
Warrington - without suspended full-back Stefan Ratchford - looked nervous in the closing stages but eventually sealed the points when Savelio crashed across the line one just minute from time.
New Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara:
"It was a tough start, not the highest quality of games, but I saw a side that showed a lot more resilience than over the last couple of weeks and managed to stay in the contest.
"I enjoyed being back in the Super League environment. The opportunity came up to coach Catalans and I was really keen to do so, it's a good club and a club with big ambitions and I'm hoping to fulfil those.
"The biggest thing we need to improve is our discipline, not just penalties but in possession as well and the biggest area is in defence - that's an area I will be focusing very hard on."
Warrington coach Tony Smith:
"It wasn't a spectacular game but our effort was enormous. The game had some tension in it but there was lots of spirit and fight and we removed a lot of our errors, which gave us a chance to compete.
"Our back three of Will Dagger, Kevin Penny and Jack Johnson were error-free and did a fantastic job at the back, with us being without our usual three starters.
"Catalans were trying to impress a new coach and they tried really hard and a lot better than they have been in recent weeks and really had a shot at it.
"Steve will do a great job there, it will take some time but he will put things in place to make them a powerhouse club at some stage."
Warrington Wolves: Dagger, Johnson, Hughes, Atkins, Penny, Patton, Gidley, Hill, Dwyer, Cooper, Jullien, Philbin, Westerman.
Replacements: Clark, Sims, Savelio, Wilde.
Catalans Dragons: Gigot, Broughton, Thornley, Duport, Yaha, Walsh, Myler, Moa, Aiton, Casty, Anderson, Garcia, Baitieri.
Replacements: Bousquet, Simon, Da Costa, Margalet.