Super League: Catalan Dragons 24-26 Warrington Wolves

Michael Oldfield
Oldfield joined Catalans from Sydney Roosters on a two-year deal last December
Catalan Dragons (6) 24
Tries: Oldfield 3, Mounis Goals: Bosc 4
Warrington Wolves (12) 26
Tries: M. Monaghan, Ormsby, Evans, J. Monaghan Goals: Bridge 5

Warrington edged out Catalan Dragons in a classic, seesawing Super League encounter at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

The visitors deservedly led 12-6 at the interval, with Michael Oldfield's try sandwiched between efforts by Michael Monaghan and Gene Ormsby.

Greg Mounis and Rhys Evans exchanged scores early in the second period.

Oldfield crossed either side of Joel Monaghan's try to complete his hat-trick and keep the home side in it, but the Wire held on for victory.

Back to winning ways for Warrington
Warrington, who had enjoyed a nine-match winning sequence in Super League before the 28-14 defeat by Widnes last month, bounced back from two successive losses to beat Catalans.

It was a close escape for Warrington, who did not trail at any point in the game but were made to work hard for the win by a Dragons side never behind by more than eight points.

Michael Monaghan, back in Tony Smith's Wolves side for the first time in nearly a month, opened the scoring when he held off three Catalans players five metres out before spinning away and diving over. Chris Bridge's conversion was good.

But a Wolves handling error allowed the home side to respond almost immediately, with Oldfield crossing in the corner and Thomas Bosc adding the extras.

Warrington, who have won on each of their last five visits to Perpignan, had to wait until two minutes before half-time to retake the lead, Ormsby providing a simple finish to cap a fine team move and Bridge's conversion ensuring a six-point lead at the break.

Joel Monaghan
Joel Monaghan's try with 15 minutes remaining proved the difference

The away side extended their advantage moments into the second period through a kick from Bridge, but it was the hosts who would cross the whitewash next, as Mounis squeezed over beneath the posts, and Bosc reduced the deficit to two.

Evans then touched down for Warrington, latching onto a brilliant grubber kick from Bridge, who then converted, only for Oldfield to dive over in the corner for his second try to drag Catalans back into the match once more.

Continuing the pattern of you score, we score, Joel Monaghan capitalised on a misplaced pass to touch down and restore the Wire's eight-point lead, before Oldfield completed his hat-trick with another well-taken try to keep the hosts within a couple of points heading into the final eight minutes.

But the visitors managed to see the match out to secure their first win in three and condemn Catalans to their second successive defeat.

Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous said: "The performance was there for us tonight, we just couldn't get the result.

"Tonight I thought we adapted pretty well to the conditions, even if we could have been better, this was a big step and big lessons for us, especially if you think that during the play-offs in England, it will be wet conditions.

"Our last play showed some improvements compared to last week, that shows we are on the right track, but unfortunately their last play was better than us and that was the key to us not winning the game.

"We have a week off now (for the Challenge Cup semi-finals) so we can rest our players up and let them recover from their bruises and knocks and hopefully we can put in a good end to the season."

Warrington coach Tony Smith said: "I've got to say, Michael Monaghan was the difference between the two teams tonight, I thought he was out of this world in terms of his defence.

"He created some errors in the opposition with the way that he tackled and they did target him for a while, and he stood up to that."

"It was a good game considering the weather that we had before the game, but it made it very wet, and I think it made a difference to the way that both sides played the game.

"Both sides like to throw the ball around a bit, and I have got to commend both teams in the way that they played, both teams had to make some adjustments and have a little bit more control."

"I thought they (Catalan) were very good, they didn't give in and they kicked early, turning each other around and it turned into a bit of a war of attrition. It was a tough old game and it's a tough trip to come here."

Friday's line-ups

Catalan Dragons: Escare, Oldfield, Pomeroy, Taia, Millard, Pryce, Bosc, Bousquet, Henderson, Lima, Anderson, Whitehead, Baitieri.

Replacements: Mounis, Pelissier, Simon, Paea.

Warrington: Ratchford, Ormsby, J. Monaghan, C. Bridge, R. Evans, Myler, O'Brien, Hill, M. Monaghan, England, Waterhouse, Currie, Harrison.

Replacements: Asotasi, Grix, Wood, Dwyer.

Att: 7,000

Referee: Richard Silverwood (RFL)

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