Super League: Widnes Vikings 40-12 Catalans Dragons

Chris Dean
Chris Dean failed to score a try in six Super League appearances in 2017
Betfred Super League
Widnes (12) 40
Tries: Dean 2, Mellor, Inu, Ah Van, Runciman, Marsh Goals: Gilmore 7
Catalans (12) 12
Tries: Mead, Jullien Goals: Walsh

Widnes Vikings eased past Catalans Dragons in their Super League opener.

Chris Dean and Joe Mellor crossed for the hosts either side of efforts from David Mead and Benjamin Jullien to leave the scores level at the break.

Former Catalans man Krisnan Inu caught a high ball before touching down to put the hosts back in front.

Mellor fed Dean for his second try to send the Vikings clear and late efforts from Patrick Ah Van, Charly Runciman and Stefan Marsh secured the points.

Both teams will be hoping for a better campaign this year after finishing in the Qualifiers last season, with Catalans ultimately having to beat Leigh in the 'Million Pound Game' to secure their Super League status.

The French side did well to go in level at the interval as they conceded a number of needless penalties and had prop Sam Moa sent to the sin bin for a high tackle early on.

However, Les Dracs coach Steve McNamara will have been alarmed with the five unanswered tries his side gave up in the second half, particularly the final three which all came in a dispiriting final 10 minutes.

The Vikings were ultimately good value for their victory and will look to build on their strong start when they visit Castleford next Sunday, while Catalans host St Helens, who thumped the Tigers 46-6, on Saturday.

Widnes coach Denis Betts:

"We're the only group that thinks we can do anything this year. We've got a good group of players.

"The lads who missed out last year through injury are healthy and fit and the new lads have come in and given us a real boost.

"It justifies the targets we've set ourselves and the goals we've got.

"In the first half we looked a little bit edgy but we just had to be the side we practised to be."

Catalans coach Steve McNamara:

"It surprised me because I thought we went some way to fixing up our discipline at the back end of last year. It's something we'll need to address.

"I actually thought we dealt with the first half OK on the back of a nine to one penalty count and a man in the bin - we looked dominant - but paid the price for it in the second half. Our tackling was appalling.

"To get our backsides kicked like that is not good enough. We only had 10 sets with the ball in the second half.

"It's a tough one to take but it is round one. We have only been together for five weeks, we will improve, but we're going to have to improve dramatically."

Widnes: Hanbury, Ah Van, Runciman, Inu, Marsh, Mellor, Gilmore, J. Chapelhow, Heremaia, Burke, Dean, Whitley, Houston.

Replacements: White, W. Albert, Cahill, Olbison.

Catalans Dragons: Mead, Broughton, Thornley, Wiliame, Tierney, Langi, Walsh, Bousquet, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Casty.

Replacements: Simon, Baitieri, Albert, Maria.

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