Super League: Elliott Whitehead hat-trick helps Dragons dominate
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: 12/04/14 5:20pm
Elliott Whitehead helped himself to a hat-trick of tries as Catalan Dragons torched Widnes 42-20 in the Perpignan sunshine on Saturday.
Super League's French representatives simply proved too strong for the Vikings, the final scoreline not doing the home side's dominance justice as they managed to convert just three of their nine attempts at goal.
Ben Pomeroy and Vincent Duport touched down twice each as the Dragons made it two wins on the spin in front of their own fans, following their 30-14 triumph over Huddersfield Giants in the last round of the competition.
Having beaten London Broncos in the Tetley's Challenge Cup in between, things are looking brighter for Les Catalans after a dismal start to the season that led to drastic measures being taken - the squad were summoned back to France following a heavy loss at Wakefield last month, with long-serving prop Jamal Fakir released soon after.
The fact they began the campaign with four away trips in the first five rounds of 2014 suggested it was always going to be a tough start for coach Laurent Frayssinous and his squad. Home advantage, therefore, was going to be crucial.
They looked far more comfortable on their own patch, breaking the deadlock through Pomeroy inside six minutes before adding further tries through Whitehead and Morgan Escare, who finished off a fine break by Daryl Millard, to ease into a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Vikings responded with a try from each from their wingers, Paddy Flynn touching down in the right corner and then Jack Owens scoring in the other when he got on the end of Kevin Brown's clever kick.
Whitehead's second made it 18-10 to the Dragons at the break, and they blew the game wide open with three more tries in a 15-minute period.
Duport dived in at the right corner after a series of offloads and Pomeroy powered his way through a tiring defensive line to complete his brace, though fellow centre Millard was denied a try down the left due to a foot in touch.
Whitehead completed his treble by swooping on a dropped Widnes pass on halfway to gallop away for the seventh try in an already productive campaign for the former Bradford Bull.
Another for Duport put the game beyond the Vikings, meaning late efforts from Lloyd White and Owens did nothing more than ease the final margin of defeat.
To make matters worse for coach Denis Betts, Declan Hulme had to be helped off the field with an ankle problem, giving him another injury to deal with ahead of a busy Easter period that begins with a trip to Warrington on Good Friday.
The Dragons, in contrast, will be full of confidence ahead of Thursday's trip to the Broncos; Millard grabbed their final try, the centre opting to cut inside off the left flank and power his way over rather than risk tip-toeing inside the whitewash again.
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans Dragons32 - 24Hull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils20 - 22Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan WarriorsvsHull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Super League 2014, round eight
Tony Rea praises the uber-experienced Paul Wellens and Jamie Peacock in his Super League review.
Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous hailed the performance of Elliott Whitehead in the 42-20 win over Widnes.
Leeds Rhinos forward Jamie Peacock admitted to suffering a few nerves before making the 500th appearance of his career.
- Brown applauds Wellens effect
- Sandercock - Very pleasing
- Opening salvo pleases Harris
- Wane unhappy with attitude
- Wigan too strong for Broncos
- Rhinos make Wildcats suffer
- Wolves exposed by sharp Rovers
- Devils race seven past Bulls
- Saints comeback stuns Tigers
- Dragons v Vikings: Teams
- Lynch relishes Saints test
- Radford praise for forwards
- Giants see Black and White
- Saints boss praises Tigers
- Warriors v Broncos: Teams
- Wolves v Rovers: Teams
- Rhinos v Wildcats: Teams
- Tigers v Saints: Teams
- Bulls v Red Devils: Teams
- Pivotal game for Hull, Giants
- Hull v Giants: Teams
- Charnley out for two months