A first game back at Belle Vue ends in defeat as Catalans take a 38-18 victory over Wakefield in round five of the Betfred Super League.
After six long months, The Mobile Rocket Stadium enjoyed its first competitive match of the 2021 season, and in a game that saw all four seasons sweep the old girl, it was Catalans who scored three second-half unanswered points to put the game out of reach for Chris Chester’s men.
With both sides looking to avenge defeats in round four, a nip and tuck start ensued. However, it was the Dragons who fathomed the opening chance of the game.
James Maloney making a dart through centre-field, catching the Trinity defence napping, but the Dragons were unable to make their ascendancy in numbers pay.
It was the visitors who took the advantage on eight minutes, though, as Tom Davies added his first of the game.
After conceding a set restart close to Trinity line, Catalans smelt the opportunity cross, eventually working the ball well to Tom Davies, whose acrobatic score gave the Dragons a four-point lead.
With several injuries hitting the Trinity camp hard in the last couple of weeks, re-enforcements had to be made and it was one of the club’s two new debutants who drew the scores level.
Celebrating his two-week loan from the Huddersfield Giants earlier in the week, Olly Ashall-Bott wasted no time in crossing the white-wash for his new club.
Just moments after going behind, neat footwork on the goal-line by the youngster created some space and he was able to ghost between the visitor’s defenders to dot down.
Trinity’s lead proved to be short-lived, however, as the French side hit back with a quickfire double.
A simple mistake on the right coughed up possession and the Dragons made Trinity pay, as a neat kick to the goal-line found the hands of Mike McMeeken who touched down before Davies doubled his evening’s tally.
Despite the setback, Wakefield rallied and a beautifully taken by Jowitt score clawed Trinity back into the contest.
After a fluid passage of play over on the left, the ball was eventually fed back inside to the fullback, who pounced on his own grubber to put the home side within four.
Despite the momentum pendulum swinging in the home side’s favour, it was the Dragons who had the last say of the half.
Ill-discipline from Trinity gave Catalans some hope, with the ball being swung out to the right-hand side, where Dean Whare was lurking to roll over, which brought an entertaining first half to a close.
With Chris Chester’s instructions still ringing in their ears, Trinity wasted no time after the interval, as Reece Lyne added four points early in the second half.
With not even 10 minutes on the clock, an outstanding passage of play found the centre on the right, who was on hand to score his first try of the season.
Beaming with confidence, Wakefield pushed forward, however, it was the away side who entertained much of the ball and could have added to their lead if not some resilient defence.
A big shot by Liam Kay coughed up possession in favour of the home side before Jason Baitieri was held up in the Trinity goal area.
With the narrowest of margins swinging the contest in the Dragons’ favour, Trinity pressed and when Kay touched down in the corner, Wakefield thought they had taken the lead.
After scanning the Catalans’ line, Lyne made an expert break through the middle, offering the home side some much-needed field possession. Dictating the move in centre-field, Jowitt then found Kay, who saw his acrobatic effort ruled out for a forward pass.
After heartbreak at one end, Catalans capitalised, as the French side added two more. With Trinity backs to the wall, the Dragons pushed forward and after a messy passage of play, the ball eventually fell to Whare, who dotted down before Davies completed his hat-trick late on.
There was still time for a late try from Samisoni Langi, however, who made sure that the visitors headed back to Perpignan with the two points.