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Catalans Dragons v Wakefield Trinity: Team news, match preview and score prediction

Catalans were without a doubt the best team in the league last year, but they were decidedly second best against Champions St Helens last week. As they look to shake that defeat off, they take on a Wakefield side who pushed Hull all the way last week.

Last Thursday’s opener against St Helens was a night to forget for the Dragons. They not only lost 28-8 but suffered a red card and a yellow which resulted in serve suspensions making things tougher moving forward.

As for Trinity, they felt hard done by against the Black and Whites pushing Hull all the way and coming up just short. Had some decisions gone their way they might come into this game with a first win already under their belt.

Team News

Catalans have lost three props following the defeat to St Helens. Gil Dudson and Dylan Napa have been hit with long term suspensions whilst Julian Bousquet now faces a lengthy time on the sidelines following a fracture in his arm. Arthur Mourgue is still absent through injury so isn’t recalled into the 21-man squad. Instead, Steve McNamara has had to turn to Arthur Romano, Benjamin Jullien and Paul Seguier.

Wakefield’s problems lie in the halves with both Lee Gaskell and Jacob Miller absent. At least they have Mason Lino in contention after he missed the defeat to Hull FC. Reece Lyne will not feature through suspension meaning Willie Poching will likely have to use Liam Kay in the role. Jai Whitbread is in line to make his debut after missing last week.

Match Preview

Key Battles:

Tom Davies v Tom Johnstone: Two of the best wingers in the league, both of whom happen to be named Tom, will be looking to give their side the edge. Not only through their fantastic try scoring abilities but also their ability to make metres from kick returns gaining their team some territory. The winger, or Tom, who does that better will give their side an important edge.

Mitchell Pearce v Mason Lino: In 2021, we saw some glimpses of what Mason Lino could bring to Super League. Now settled at Wakefield, I expect him to kick on but against one of the NRL’s best halfbacks over the last decade in Mitchell Pearce he’ll find it tough. Both will want to control the game so it may come down to who can get a foothold in the contest.

Where the game will be won and lost:

Any side hoping to topple the Dragons, especially in France, will have to contain their middles. However, the absence of three of Catalans’ best props will make that much easier.

However, with Trinity lacking Lee Gaskell and Jacob Miller it could be harder for them to turn chances into tries whilst the Dragons should be at their attacking best. So, it could be said that the key area in this game will be the opposition’s 20 as both teams hope to turn chances into point.

Prediction: Catalans Dragons 28-14 Wakefield Trinity

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