Super League: Defeat leaves Dragons facing long haul
Last Updated: 07/09/13 8:29pm
Scott Dureau: Agonising finish to the regular season
Catalan missed out on a home play-off against Hull next weekend after Scott Dureau failed to kick a late penalty and Warrington held on for a 14-12 victory in Perpignan.
Brett Hodgson had sent in Chris Riley for what proved to be a match-winning try 10 minutes from time, a score that means the French side will now travel to the KC Stadium in the first round.
The home side were architects of their own downfall as they repeatedly dropped the ball and gifted the Wolves field position to build their early lead.
Warrington opened the scoring in the 12th minute following superb build-up play by Lee Briers, Hodgson and Chris Bridge which allowed Rhys Evans to slide over in the right corner despite Leon Pryce's best efforts to push him into touch.
Hodgson missed the resulting conversion, but added two points 10 minutes later as Stefan Ratchford extended the Warrington lead with a try under the posts that owed much to Ben Westwood's quick thinking and pass to Warrington's half-back.
Catalan continued to press and veteran Steve Menzies thought he had scored with a try but the referee ruled that Hodgson had grounded the ball.
Catalan did get on the scoreboard six minutes before the interval when Dureau intercepted Ratchford's pass and raced 70 metres to score. Dureau added the conversion to narrow the scores to 10-6 to the visitors at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The game continued in a scrappy fashion after the break and it was not until 62 minutes that Menzies touched down Dureau's kick through and with the resulting conversion the Dragons took the lead for the first time in the game.
It was left to Chris Riley and Hodgson to break the Catalan hearts as the Warrington full-back sent out a wide pass to send in Riley in the left corner.
Warrington survived the late penalty attempt from Dureau, the visitors hanging on to secure a win that will prove a morale-booster heading into their own play-off campaign.