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 26th Mar
Salford Red Devils36 - 8Widnes Vikings
Fri 27th Mar
Castleford Tigers20 - 14Hull FC
Hull K R24 - 22St Helens
Warrington Wolves10 - 29Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors52 - 10Wakefield Wildcats
Sat 28th Mar
Catalans Dragons22 - 38Leeds Rhinos
Thu 2nd Apr
Hull FCvsHull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Fri 3rd Apr
Castleford TigersvsLeeds Rhinos
Wigan WarriorsvsSt Helens
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Mon 6th Apr
Warrington WolvesvsCastleford Tigers
Hull K R0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Wigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Catalans DragonsvsWidnes Vikings
Fri 10th Apr
Hull FCvsWidnes Vikings
Sat 11th Apr
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Castleford TigersvsHull K R
Sun 12th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0St Helens
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan WarriorsvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St HelensvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
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
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