Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves
Competition: English Super League
Date: 11th February 2017
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignon.
Kickoff: 18:00 CET
Warrington the reigning premiers had a relatively quiet offseason, with the most notable addition, that of Mike Cooper, returning to England after an individually successful stint at the St George Illawarra club. The Wolves, have a quality pair of halves, including legendary Novacastrian, Kurt Gidley and a very strong forward pack again this season, with players such as Chris Hill, Daryl Brown and Ashton Sims featuring.
Catalans too had a solid offseason, with a much larger turnover of players, with the high-profile release of Willie Mason, and the likes of Glenn Stewart, Todd Carney and Dave Taylor leaving, and Pat Richards retiring. All that said, they made some very astute additions, including NSW Origin stalwart Greg Bird, Luke Burgess home from his NRL stint and Luke Walsh as well as Sam Moa to beef up the forwards. Overall, Catalans fans ought to be hopeful of a semi-final berth, after their solid 6th place finish, following the super 8 stage last season.
Cool showery conditions await the players in the French venue, somewhat warmer than the north of England, but with the precipitation about, it may well turn into a battle of the forwards.
Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves: Head to Head Stats
Warrington won all 3 matchups last year albeit never by more than 10 points, leading to what should be another tight encounter. Prior to that, it was much harder to predict, as the French team put a 20 margin on them in 2015, only to cop a caning themselves 48-6 in the 3rd matchup of the 2015 season.
Warrington have had a super run culminating in their premiership last season, while the recent form for Catalans was not as promising, as they could just record 1 win from their last 6 matches.
Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves: Prediction
Though the Wolves are aging, this season should be another stellar one, while their veterans see out their careers, in fine fashion. Catalans will be a force this season, after a great offseason of signings, but these will all take time to gel and familiarize to coach Frayssinous’ programs. Catalans has a strong forward pack which will be a big test for many of their opponents this season, however Warrington has destructive ball-runners such as Mike Cooper and Ashton Sims, who can out-muscle the Dragons.
Greg Bird will fill the voids left in the back-row for Catalans, and the front-rowers such as Moa, Casty and Luke Burgess will be formidable. The halves will prove to be the difference though for Warrington, with Gidley and Brown, outplaying and out-creating the likes of Luke Walsh, and Richard Myler.
Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves: Tips
- Warrington Wolves to win by a margin of 8-12.
- Greg Bird to play a big debut game for Catalans.
Other Super League previews:
- Wakefield Trinity vs Hull FC
- Salford Red Devils vs Wigan Warriors
- Castleford Tigers vs Leigh Centurions
- Widnes Vikings vs Huddersfield Giants
- St Helens vs Leeds Rhinos