Blanch makes Wildcats blush with hat-trick

Catalan Dragons 34 Wakefield Wildcats 10

stade gilbert brutus

The Catalan Dragons closed within a point of second-placed Warrington with victory over the Wildcats that owed as much to their powers of endurance as it did to their quality. Damien Blanch scored a hat-trick of tries, Steve Menzies, celebrating his Exiles call-up, managed a brace and Clint Greenshields one in the energy-sapping heat of Perpignan.

It enabled the Dragons to reclaim third place from St Helens and made sure they took full advantage of Friday night's defeats for leaders Wigan and the Wolves.

An early mistake from Richard Mathers was punished by Vincent Duport, who drew in the defence and sent Blanch racing down the line to touch down in the fourth minute.

Menzies' first try was a superb interception on his own 10-metre line, the 38-year-old racing the remaining 90 metres to touch down unopposed.

A superb individual effort from Ali Lauitiiti followed at the other end. The New Zealander used his superb handling skills to dummy, then his strength to power over the line despite Scott Dureau's best efforts to halt him. Paul Sykes converted to narrow the gap to six points.

Dureau laid Menzies' second try on a plate, his short ball to the former Australia second row allowing Menzies to go through a gap in the Wakefield defence to score. Dureau added his third conversion from as many attempts to give the hosts an 18-6 half-time lead.

From the restart, a high Dureau kick again caused havoc in the Wakefield defence. Peter Fox fumbled the ball twice under pressure before Greenshields put boot to ball for the Catalans and managed to win the race to touch down under the posts, allowing Dureau the simplest of conversions.

Wakefield responded with a try from second rower Kyle Trout, who managed to squeeze his way over. Sykes hit the post with a difficult conversion.

With 15 minutes remaining, the hosts killed off Wakefield as Duport once again provided a superb offload to send in Blanch in the right corner.Dureau nailed a touchline conversion to stretch the advantage to 30-10 and take the Dragons to the brink of victory.

With just six minutes left, a short goal-line drop-out gifted the hosts field position and they made Wakefield pay as Ian Henderson and Greenshields combined to send Blanch in for his hat-trick try. Dureau missed with the touchline effort but the win was secure.

In the day's other game, four tries for Danny McGuire inspired rampant Leeds to a 58-12 hammering of London Broncos at the Twickenham Stoop. The result took the reigning champions up to sixth in the Super League table.

Catalan Dragons Greenshields; Blanch, Duport, Millard, Pala; Pryce, Dureau; Baitieri, Menzies, Paea, Ferriol, Henderson, Casty. Substitutes used Fakir, Pelissier, Raguin, Mounis.

Wakefield Mathers; Fox, Mellars, Sykes, Cockayne; John, Smith; Washbrook, Kirmond, Lauitiiti, Raleigh, Aiton, Amor. Substitutes used Wood, Wilkes, Johnson, Trout.

Referee B Thaler.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas