Super League: Catalan Dragons 40-6 Wakefield Wildcats

Elliott Whitehead
Elliott Whitehead is the top scoring forward in the Super League with 17 tries this season

England call-up Elliott Whitehead showed his Super League class with a hat-trick as Catalan Dragons returned to winning ways against Wakefield.

Daryl Millard, Morgan Escare, Whitehead and Zeb Taia scored to give the Dragons a 28-0 half-time lead, with playmaker Sam Williams directing with the boot.

Escare scored a breakaway try after the break to extend the lead and Whitehead powered through to add his third.

Wakefield, unbeaten in five, replied through Reece Lyne's consolation.

Catalans have been formidable at home this season, last week's defeat by Wigan aside, and returned to their best at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

St George-Illawarra import Williams weighted his chip kick to perfection for Millard for the opening try and successive offloads from Leon Pryce and Louis Anderson released Escare to beat fellow full-back Richie Mathers for try number two.

Whitehead made up for an earlier chalked-off effort with a legitimate touchdown and then Taia latched onto a Millard grubber for number four.

Millard had a try ruled out for a foot in touch despite a spectacular finish but after sustaining pressure, Catalans did make it five when Whitehead shot through the gap for an unopposed touchdown.

The visitors were visibly improved after half-time but were punished when a mistake from Ali Lauitiiti in the Catalans half was pounced upon by the pacy Escare to race clear for his second and 20th of the season.

Matt Ryan's loose carry cost Wakefield a score after good work from Jimmy Keinhorst and at the other end the Dragons showed greater execution when Whitehead - who has been widely tipped to make an international breakthrough - was unstoppable in bustling over for his treble.

Danny Kirmond and Zeb Taia clashed at the play-the-ball in a rare heated moment and Lyne's late try at least ensured Wakefield managed to get on the scoreboard.

Saturday's squads

Catalan Dragons: Escare; Millard, Taia, Pomeroy, Oldfield; Pryce, Williams, Simon, Henderson, Bousquet, Whitehead, Anderson, Baile.

Replacements: Paea, Maria, Pelissier, T. Margalet.

Wakefield: Mathers; Owen, Keinhorst, Riley, Lyne; Sykes, T. Smith, Moore, McShane, Raleigh, Gilmour, Kirmond, Washbrook.

Replacements: Lauitiiti, Ryan, Scruton, Tautai.

Attendance: 8,256

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL)