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Page last updated at 20:51 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 21:51 UK

Wakefield 16-25 Catalans

Wakefield (2) 16
Tries: George 2, Atkins Goals: Drew 2
Catalans Dragons (16) 25
Tries: Duport, Elima, Pelo 2 Goals: Bosc 5 Drop Bosc

Wakefield's Olivier Elima
Olivier Elima went over from close range late in the first half

Catalans Dragons held off a Wakefield fightback for a dramatic play-off victory at Belle Vue.

The French side scored three tries in the space of seven minutes late in the first half through Vincent Duport, Olivier Elima and Dimitri Pelo.

Pelo added another score after the break but two tries by Luke George and one from Ryan Atkins gave the Wildcats hope before Thomas Bosc's drop-goal.

The French side will face Huddersfield on Friday in the next round.

Wakefield were missing influential scrum-half Danny Brough with a hip injury and his absence affected their attacking power.

Catalans looked to have scored first after 11 minutes after Duport crossed in the right corner but the score was disallowed by video referee Steve Ganson for an earlier obstruction.

It took until the 24th minute to break the deadlock when Brad Drew kicked a penalty to edge Wakefield 2-0 ahead but the Dragons took the lead six minutes later when a sweeping move led to Duport touching down.

Bosc failed to convert but after 35 minutes the visitors went further in front when Adam Mogg set Elima up to go over from close range and two minutes later Pelo went in at the left corner.


It got better for the Catalans seven minutes after the break when Pelo showed his strength for his second try of the match.

Bosc added the extras but Wakefield replied four minutes later when George showed great speed to outpace the Catalans defence and score.

Drew failed to add the extras but Wakefield notched their second try in the 61st minute when Atkins burst clear down the left wing and George then went over again with six minutes left.

Although Drew converted, Bosc's drop-goal three minutes from time eased the pressure on the French side and the Dragons' scrum-half then added a penalty on the final hooter.

Wakefield coach John Kear:

"They were better than us. They came here, slowed the ruck down and never allowed us to get on the front foot.

"We just couldn't get field position. Our main kicker (Danny Brough) was out and that's not an excuse, but we obviously missed him.

"Credit to Catalans, Bosc kicked us to death and they wrestled us to death. But this has been our best season in Super League, no doubt about that."

Catalans coach Kevin Walters:

"The players have gone up a gear with their performances after being pretty heavily criticised. We're now starting to show what we can do but I think there is more improvement yet to come.

"Tonight we were good enough to hang on for the win, which I'm very happy about.

"The last two weeks have been good, but in the second half it might have been all over for us if Wakefield had scored again. We managed to hang on but it was a difficult night."

Wakefield: Blaymire, George, Demetriou, Atkins, Murphy, Grix, Obst, Stosic, Drew, Korkidas, Snitch, Wilkes, Ferguson.
Replacements: Winternstein, Moore, Leo-Latu, Henderson.

Catalans Dragons: Greenshields, Duport, Raguin, Baile, Pelo, Mogg, Bosc, Ryles, McGuire, Guisset, Elima, Gossard, Bird.
Replacements: Ferriol, Carlaw, Touxagas, Casty.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington)

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see also
Road to Old Trafford
25 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
Wakefield 24-10 Hull KR
12 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
St Helens 12-24 Catalans
11 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League

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