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Taylor shines as Catalans march on

Press AssociationPress Association 2/04/2016

Former NRL star Dave Taylor has produced another strong display for Catalans as the French club defeated early-season Super League pacesetters Widnes 21-8 in Perpignan.

Taylor scored a try and had a hand in a couple more to help the Dragons cap a terrific Easter period.

Catalans Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous was delighted to see his team tough it out against Widnes on Saturday evening.

"It has been a good Easter for us this year. We have managed to secure eight points ... that is particularly pleasing," the Dragons coach said.

Widnes boss Denis Betts was not too downbeat following the game, despite his team's third defeat in nine days.

"I think it has been the story of the Easter weekend," he said.

"It has been a very, very tough period for us and we just failed to get over the line, so to speak."

An early try by former Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards for the Catalans was all that separated the sides at halftime at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Quick hands from Taylor put Richards over in the corner after the enigmatic Dragons back-rower caught the Widnes defence sleeping on the blindside.

The hosts extended their lead after the interval when Vincent Duport touched down after a lovely short ball from Taylor put the centre over the line.

Widnes clawed back via Corey Thompson's converted try and a Rhys Hanbury penalty to level matters at 8-8 after an hour.

Taylor combined with Duport again to break the deadlock with the former Gold Coast, South Sydney and Brisbane back-rower producing a brilliant one-handed pick up from a rebounded grubber kick before beating two defenders to score in the 68th minute.

A field goal to Thomas Bosc and a late converted try to Eloi Pelissier gave the Dragons a deserved win.

It's the Dragons' fourth straight victory, moving them level on points with the third-placed Vikings in the Super League ladder.

Widnes had topped the standings ahead of the Easter schedule but suffered back-to-back defeats, and they were once again without inspirational captain Kevin Brown in Perpignan.

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