|Betfred Super League|
|Catalans (8) 30|
|Tries: Yaha, Mead, Whitley, Gigot Goals: Tomkins 7|
|Warrington (4) 10|
|Tries: Mamo, Hill Goals: Ratchford|
Catalans Dragons’ hard-earned victory over Challenge Cup finalists Warrington in Perpignan handed St Helens the regular-season League Leaders’ Shield.
Warrington’s defeat means they cannot catch the leaders, who are 12 points clear with five games of the regular Super League season remaining.
Dragons moved into fifth place with the win but an all-in brawl at the end of the game soured the victory.
Fouad Yaha, David Mead, Tony Gigot and Matt Whitley all crossed for Catalans.
They led 8-4 at the break thanks to Yaha’s try and two Sam Tomkins goals, with Jake Mamo’s unconverted effort in reply for the visitors.
Despite a Chris Hill try for Warrington early in the second period, Dragons crossed for three more scores to seal the win.
The embarrassing brawl at the end of the game saw both sides erupt into jostling, pushing and shoving, an incident which delayed the finish by several minutes as referee James Child tried to calm things down.
Warrington players were also concerned by trouble which appeared to be taking place in the away supporters’ section, while three players – Wolves’ Mamo and Catalans pair Michael McIlorum and Tomkins – were all sent off after the hooter.
Also concerning for Steve Price’s Wolves was the loss of star playmaker Blake Austin to an injury after he fell awkwardly in a tackle by Greg Bird in the first half.
In searing heat in the south of France, Catalans turned in one of their most ruthless and resolve-packed performances of the season to keep up pressure on Castleford and Salford in the play-off battle.
They also ensured a Warrington side, who proved their wet-weather prowess last weekend in a soggy Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull FC, toiled in the sapping warmth.
Gigot’s combination with the returning Bird in the halves, ably assisted by Tomkins at full-back and the lively Samisoni Langi at centre, proved key for the Dragons’ attack.
After Mamo’s score, beautifully created by a sweeping move right and Toby King’s left-hand offload, a similarly wonderful score on the opposite flank for Catalans saw Tomkins fizz a cut-out ball to Yaha to cross.
Hill’s reply was all about grunt and grind, burrowing in, before Mead stepped Declan Patton out wide to finish and Whitley and Gigot both shredded the Primrose and Blue line late on to put the result beyond doubt.
Catalans: Tomkins; Mead, Langi, Wiliame, Yaha; Bird, Gigot; Bousquet, McIlorum, Simon, Whitley, Garcia, Casty.
Replacements: Edwards, Da Costa, Maria, Kasiano.
Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, King, Mamo; Austin, Patton; Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, J. Clark.
Replacements: Philbin, Akauola, Livett, Davis.
Referee: James Child (RFL)