Catalans Dragons 40 Wakefield Trinity 20 - Frustrated Wakefield coach Chris Chester criticises ‘crowd call’ decisions during defeat
WAKEFIELD TRINITY COACH Chris Chester will be calling the RFL’s controller of referees this morning for clarification on some “crowd calls” by referee Marcus Griffiths in Perpignan last night.
Chester is angry at a one-sided penalty count and six-again tally during his side’s 40-20 defeat to Super League leaders Catalans Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
He said, “Looking at the stats tonight with the six agains and without having a go at the referee there is a really loud, vocal crowd here and I thought there were a few crowd calls tonight and maybe the referee needed to be a little bit stronger with some of those decisions.
“I will go through the right channels and chat with the right people in the morning.”
Wakefield didn’t wilt in the 32-degree heat and humidity in Perpignan, and kept the pressure on the Dragons throughout the game but Catalans were too strong and maintained their club-record 11-game winning run.
Sam Tomkins was first to stride over for a try on five minutes, James Maloney adding the conversion to put the Dragons ahead 6-0.
But Wakefield hit back when loose-forward Yusuf Aydin broke through between the posts, scrum-half Mason Lino levelling the scores with a simple conversion.
Trinity were penalised in front of their posts on 15 minutes and Maloney put the Dragons ahead 8-6 with a simple kick to goal but giant prop David Fifita took Wakefield forward with a string of powerful burst and Catalans were forced to drop-out from in-goal twice in succession.
Then Fifita smashed through the defence and shrugged off Tomkins to plant the ball over the line in the 20th minute, Lino adding the conversion for a four-point lead.
Hooker Alrix Da Costa put Catalans back in front with a two-metre burst from dummy-half for a try, Maloney converting to make the scores 14-12, then Catalans unleashed their own giant prop, Sam Kasiano, from the bench and two powerful bursts saw him cross the line on the half-hour and the Dragons were eight points ahead at the interval.
Trinity struck back straight after the break with a Lino penalty but the heat took was getting to Wakefield as substitute Arthur Mourgue forced them into a goal-line drop-out then Maloney struck a penalty to restore the eight-points difference.
Prop Gil Dudson went over for a try converted by Maloney and although Fifita claimed his second touchdown, improved by Liono, but Fouad Yaha’s late brace, both improved by Maloney, kept Catalans firmly on top of the table.
He added, “I think there were lots of positives tonight but effort will only take us so far, we’re just lacking that quality we need.
“We were well into the game after 20-odd minutes, it was a pretty even and then we make an error, give a penalty away and a six again and they score back-to-back tries.
“That’s what been happening over the past few weeks and we can’t be happy as a group just running the top teams close. That’s not what we are about, it’s not good enough.
“We’re competing hard and I don’t think we deserved that final scoreline.
“It’s silly little errors, it’s not a collective thing, it’s an individual decision, we’ve got too many guys just at the minute who aren’t playing well enough.
“Big Sam Kasiano has caused us a hell of a lot of problems over the last two years and he did the same again tonight. We couldn’t get our hands on Maloney, Tomkins or Drinkwater so it’s really disappointing and frustrating that we run a team close again, put in all of that effort and the results aren’t coming.
“We go again next week against Huddersfield, it doesn’t get any easier.
“But that kind of effort and with a bit more control, wins us the game next week, we just have to be able to compete.
Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara said, “For the past few weeks I’ve been a bit grumpy, saying we are not playing as well as we can and it might still be the case but I am so so pleased with the application and effort from everyone within our organisation and I’m very proud.
“We had a good start to the season and we’ve taken every challenge on board. It’s exciting times for the club. I could pick holes in the performance but we’ve scored six tries, the crowd’s had some fun and the players are enjoying it, we’re happy where we are.
“It’s exciting times for us, we’re in a good position, we’ve got young players itching to get in, we can bring in new players if we need to, so we’re a happy bunch.”
Catalans Dragons: Tomkins, Davies, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Dudson, Da Costa, Bousquet, Whitley, Jullien, Tomkins. Subs: Mourgue, Seguier, Goudemand, Kasiano.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Senior, Lyne, Arundel, Kay, Miller, Lino, Fifita, Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Aydin. Subs: Battye, Walker, Green, Hampshire.