Wakefield Trinity Wildcats gave a magnificent account of themselves in Saturday’s 32-12 Super League defeat against Catalans Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The final score greatly flattered the French side after the game could have gone either way in the closing stages.
Three tries in the late seven minutes from Eloi Pelissier, Morgan Escare and Louis Anderson earned the Dragons victory but bottom team Wakefield took all the plaudits.
Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous rested several players ahead of Thursday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup clash against Hull KR and the move almost back-fired.
The Wildcats, seeking to end a 15-match losing run, recovered from 12-0 down at half-time to level at 12-12 before they were sunk by the home outfit’s late scoring burst.
Despite taking a 12-point lead after 10 minutes, the Dragons’ indiscipline cost them the opportunity to extend that lead.
Ben Pomeroy opened the scoring for the hosts, supporting an initial break by French youngster Fouad Yaha, Scott Dureau adding the conversion.
Debutant Krisnan Inu scored a superb individual try in the 10th minute, stepping and fending away Wakefield defenders to double the hosts’ lead.
That was as good as it got for both sides in the first half as they continued to drop the ball and waste opportunities.
Wakefield fought back after the break and Chris Riley scored in the right corner after a break by Paul McShane to put the Wildcats on the front foot. Jacob Miller added the conversion to halve the deficit.
Pita Godinet scored Wakefield’s second, dummying and stepping his way over, despite the best efforts of Catalans defender Remi Casty. Jacob Miller’s conversion saw Wakefield level the game.
Dureau added a 40 metre penalty 14 minutes from time after a high tackle before three tries in the final seven minutes saw Catalans win the game convincingly.
Pelissier scored under the posts after a half break by Jason Baitieri split the Wakefield defence open down the middle. Dureau again added the conversion to extend the Catalans’ lead to eight points.
Escare added a further try two minutes later, Yaha breaking clear down the left before passing inside to his team-mate, who raced over to touch down under the posts. Dureau’s conversion took the score to 26-12.
With two minutes remaining Anderson charged over from 30 metres after dummying his way through the Wakefield line. Dureau again converted to complete the scoring.