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Warrington Wolves suffer devastating blow ahead of Leeds clash

Sam Burgess

Warrington Wolves and Catalans Dragons met in Rivals Round 24 hours after the other two teams to notch four wins from the opening five games did battle.

St Helens defeated Wigan Warriors to move top of the league on Good Friday afternoon and Warrington were looking to leapfrog them on points difference on what Sam Burgess would be a good Saturday for the Wire.

But they were up against a Catalans Dragons side who have already beaten them this season and could also join St Helens on 10 points after six Super League games.

It was a terrible start though for Sam Burgess’ side who quickly were facing down the prospect of their first home defeat. After an error from Paul Vaughan, the Dragons put on a set pattern play and Tom Davies powered through the tackles to score.

It was his fellow winger, his fellow Tom, who scored next. After confusion at the ruck, Jordan Abdull put the kick in behind and Tom Johnstone beat Matt Dufty to the ball to score.

Then things got worse for the Wolves as Paul Vaughan was sin binned for a tip tackle and in his absence Ben Garcia powered over.

Then the Wolves developed some momentum and came very close to scoring after a George Williams kick was taken by Lachlan Fitzgibbon who was tackled just short.

A try was coming with the Wolves determining the tempo and it eventually came as Zane Musgrove powered over.

The Wolves had the momentum and a lovely short side play by George Williams picked out Matty Ashton and he gave the ball inside to Toby King to score and the Wolves were back in it.

But they again started the second half slow. After Adam Holroyd held up Michael McIlorum, a kick out wide was batted back to Cesar Rouge to score and give the Dragons a 24-12 lead. They extended that further after lovely offloads from Abdull and Arthur Romano and the Dragons led 28-12 and the game looked gone. That was until James Harrison spun around and was able to ground the ball. Then a lovely side step gave the Wolves back to back tries. George Williams carved through the defence to score and make it 28-24.

Warrington had some huge chances to snatch the win but some amazing defence denied them. Crucially, Catalans Dragons went up the other end of the field and took the win after an Abdull kick was batted back and scored by the kicker himself to wrap up a 32-24 win and move joint top with St Helens.

Warrington Wolves face crucial problem

Credit Imago Images

A great effort from Warrington Wolves but they will have to again do it tough as they take on Leeds Rhinos next weekend.

The two clubs now find themselves level on points and joint second in the Super League table. They will also have to go away to the home of the Rhinos after they got back to winning ways against Castleford Tigers.

A tough place to go after a defeat to the Dragons and making matters worse they have lost two props. They lost both Zane Musgrove and Joe Philbin to failed Head Injury Assessments as confirmed by Sky Sports which resulted in them using the 18th man rule.

The Wolves will be without both against Leeds next week.

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