Catalans on the brink of relegation as Widnes retain Super League status

Widnes Vikings beat Catalans Dragons 12-10 in a nail-biting contest to secure their Super League status for 2018.

The result means the Dragons will travel to Leigh in next week’s Million Pound Game after they twice turned down opportunities in the final moments to go for two points in Perpignan.

Should they have successfully converted one of those penalties then the French side would have had home advantage next week, but the result leaves their Super League future in serious doubt.

Luke Walsh gave Catalans the lead inside the first 10 minutes with a penalty goal as both teams showed nerves in the biggest game of the season.

Both sides continued to make mistakes and Widnes took the opportunity to notch over two penalty goals through Tom Gilmore, the Cheshire side holding a 4-2 lead on the half hour.

The Vikings were dealt a blow moments later when Chris Houston was sin-binned for a high tackle on Thibaut Margalet and Walsh took the opportunity to level the scores again.

However, the home side were unable to build any pressure against the 12 men and the score remained 4-4 at half-time.

Having survived with 12 men, Widnes scored the first try after the restart as Charly Runciman picked up Hep Cahill’s pass off the ground and fed Corey Thompson in the corner.

Gilmore was unable to add the extras but the Vikings added to their lead just five minutes later as Runciman’s break set up field position, before Danny Craven’s long pass put Stefan Marsh over.

The upright denied Gilmore this time but Widnes bot held a 12-4 lead going into the final 17 minutes.

Catalans needed a lifeline and with 10 minutes to go they got one as Julian Bousquet powered onto a short pass from Lucas Albert to score under posts. Walsh converted to reduce the deficit to two.

Lewis Tierney went close with five minutes before the French side twice turned down opportunities to go for two and level the game, a score that would have given them home advantage in the Million Pound Game.

Catalans: Tierney, Duport, Inu, Wiliame, Thornley, Walsh, Myler, Moa, Aiton, Bousquet, Anderson, Horo, Garcia. Interchange: Baitieri, Albert, Margalet, Navarrete.

Widnes: Craven, Thompson, Runciman, Marsh, Ince, Mellor, Gilmore, Dudson, Heremaia, Buchanan, Whitley, Houston, Burke. Interchange: Cahill, Gerrard, Olbison, Walker.