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Widnes and Catalans draw in Super League

Press Association logoPress Association 4/03/2017

Widnes Vikings came back from 14-0 down to secure a hard-fought 14-14 Super League draw against Catalans Dragons in terrible conditions in Perpignan.

Catalans were without forwards Sam Moa, Julian Bousquet and Jason Baitieri, while Widnes were missing seven first-team players, including Alex Gerrard, Joe Mellor and Tom Gilmore.

The home side took the lead in the seventh minute when Richie Myler attacked down the left and fed Ben Garcia, who displayed soft hands to send Brayden Wiliame away to score. Luke Walsh continued his good early season form with the boot as he added the extras.

Catalans extended their lead in the 12th minute after Wiliame's tackle on Rhys Hanbury forced a knock-on which was kicked forward by Myler. He won the race to the ball and eventually touched down.

Walsh added the conversion to give the hosts a 12-0 lead and further extended their advantage with a penalty.

Widnes came back into the game four minutes before the break when two penalties gave them field position and Aaron Heremaia picked up five metres from the Catalans line before sending Patrick Ah Van charging over to score. Hanbury added the extra two points.

The visitors struck again eight minutes after the break. Chris Bridge sent a grubber kick to the in-goal area, the ball was fumbled by Thomas Bosc and pounced on by Tom Olbison, although Hanbury missed the conversion.

Both sides were guilty of handling errors at key moments and the score remained the same heading into the final 10 minutes.

Widnes attacked again and Bridge was held up just short, but Heremaia dummied right then put in a neat grubber to the in-goal area where the loose ball was touched down by Hanbury. He missed the conversion attempt.

Catalans applied pressure in the latter stages and despite having field position to attack the Widnes line, the conditions were such that when Walsh attempted a drop-goal the ball did not bounce once it hit the turf and the full-time hooter sounded.

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