Dragons survive Widnes scare
Frenchmen forced to come from behind late on to snatch victory
Last Updated: 20/05/12 5:54pm
Catalan Dragons were given a fright by basement boys Widnes before recording a 42-34 road victory in a 14-try extravaganza at Stobart Stadium Halton.
The Dragons bounced back from the Challenge Cup defeat by Warrington last time out to notch a fifth win in their last six Super League outings.
Widnes had conceded at least 30 points in every match back in Super League and were determined to make amends for their 76-6 hammering at the hands of the Dragons in March.
But they appeared in for another long afternoon as the visitors took less than two minutes to sweep ahead after Scott Dureau's 40-20 kick immediately put the Vikings on the defensive.
Dureau fed Leon Pryce straight from the scrum and Clint Greenshields slid over in the corner and Catalan looked set to go further ahead, only for Stefan Marsh to intercept Vincent Duport's pass.
The Vikings relief was short-lived, though, with Steve Menzies taking Dureau's inside pass after 10 minutes to send Pryce over and when Vincent Duport shrugged off Paddy Flynn for the Dragons' third try three minutes later it was all too easy for the Frenchmen.
Menzies then let Widnes off the hook by losing the ball over the line before the Vikings were finally stung into action.
The hosts got on the scoresheet midway through the first half with Stefan Marsh taking Rhys Hanbury's pass to cut inside Dureau and Rhys Hanbury slotted the conversion to cut the gap to 14-6.
A Catalan mistake then allowed Joe Mellor to wriggle over and cut the gap to 14-12, but Pryce put Louis Anderson through a yawning gap to extend the Dragons' lead after 32 minutes with Dureau tagging on the goal.
Anderson then inexplicably dropped the ball over the line from Pryce to squander another chance, while Widnes had a Patrick Ah Van try disallowed for a forward pass from Hanbury.
But the Australian made amends in some style moments later as he ran 80 metres after the half-time hooter to score a spectacular solo breakaway try.
Hanbury booted the conversion himself and, after being outplayed for most of the first half, Widnes trailed only 20-18 at the break.
The Vikings went ahead early in the second half with a fine Chris Dean try after he slipped a Thomas Bosc tackle following a storming Marsh burst.
But Widnes skipper Jon Clarke was sin-binned after 52 minutes for a late tackle on Dureau and - after Ah Van had a try disallowed - Anderson forced his way over on the hour to restore the Dragons' advantage at 26-22.
Joe Mellor was down injured shortly afterwards when Lopini Paea barged his way over with Dureau converting to make it 32-22 and Mellor was then carried off on a stretcher - both tries coming with Clarke in the bin.
Dave Allen's converted try after Clarke's return gave the hosts renewed hope as they closed the gap to 32-28 and then Clarke and Chris Dean put Ah Van over in the corner to level the scores.
Man of the match Hanbury's conversion edged the Vikings back in front, but the Dragons produced a grandstand finish to snatch the points.
First Bosc touched down out wide for a try Dureau was unable to convert, before Dureau himself sealed the victory with a score in the final minute, the Australian this time successfully adding the extras.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves