25 May 2019

Catalans defeat Wakefield

Catalans Dragons produced a stirring finish to secure a 25-18 victory over Wakefield in a thrilling opening game of the 2019 Dacia Magic Weekend at Anfield.

A 69th-minute try from Trinity winger Ben Jones-Bishop levelled the scores at 18-18 and golden-point extra time beckoned until Catalans full-back Tony Gigot clinched the win with a drop goal.

Second rower Benjamin Garcia then went over for his second try a minute from the end to pile on the misery for Wakefield, who had overhauled a 12-0 half-time deficit to go in front.

Fresh from the euphoria of their emphatic win over Wigan at the Nou Camp, a third successive win enables the Dragons to consolidate their push for a top-three finish in the Betfred Super League but leaves question marks over Trinity’s play-off credentials.

Catalans coach Steve McNamara said: “It was important to back that up. We’ve been guilty this season of playing well in a couple of big games and really under-performing in the weeks after.

“Anyone who was in Barcelona last week could see how big that game was for our club. I knew we wouldn’t be perfect today but we were good enough to win the game eventually.

“It was really interesting to see how we’d react to going behind. There have been times when we’ve been put under that pressure and not dealt with it in the right manner. I knew we would be down on energy from last week but the players found a way to win at the end.”

Wakefield coach Chris Chester said: “I’m disappointed not to get anything out of the game but I’m really pleased with the effort. We needed to raise our game after last week and we did that.

“I thought we were unlucky to be 12-0 down at half-time. We get pinged for a forward pass and then Kenny Edwards throws a pass that Tom Brady would have been proud of.

“I thought we were good in lots of areas, although we lacked a bit of smarts in the last 10 minutes. We put ourselves in a good position but couldn’t put them away. I felt we had the momentum, I was fairly confident we would come out on top.”