Wakefield Trinity 18 Catalans Dragons 35: Trinity in danger of being sucked into bottom four after home defeat by Catalans

Justin Horo scores Wakefield's opening try against Catalans Dragons.
Justin Horo scores Wakefield's opening try against Catalans Dragons.

Wakefield Trinity are in danger of being sucked into Betfred Super League’s bottom-four after a 35-18 home defeat by in-form Catalans Dragons on Saturday night

Trinity remain sixth in the table, one place ahead of Catalans on points difference.

Pauli Pauli takes on Ben Garcia and Sam Moa.

Pauli Pauli takes on Ben Garcia and Sam Moa.

Huddersfield Giants dropped to eighth, one point adrift.

Wakefield are three points clear of ninth-placed Leeds Rhinos who visit Castleford Tigers on Sunday before a home game against Trinity next Friday.

Catalans were the better side for most of the game, but Trinity fought back for a spell in the second half after a wonder try by Tom Johnstone at the end of the fist 40.

Trinity went ahead after five minutes when Justin Horo touched down from acting-half Tyler Randell’s kick, but Josh Drinkwater’s pass created Dragons’ opening try for Greg Bird 10 minutes later.

Wakefield head coach Chris Chester

Wakefield head coach Chris Chester

After 24 minutes former Catalans forward Horo’s kick to the corner fumbled by Ben Jones-Bishop before he could get the ball down and Catalans scored tries in the next two sets.

Benjamin Jullien finished off good play by Tony Gigot and Samisoni Langi, then David Mead scored from Langi’s kick.

Brayden Wiliame scored a brilliant solo try to extend Catalans’ lead seven minutes before the interval, but there was a remarkable finish to the opening period.

With 20 seconds left Catalans were awarded a penalty just inside their own half and Drinkwater opted to take a shot at goal.

The hooter sounded before his kick, which dropped just short to the side of a post and was collected by Liam Finn.

Rather than taking a tackle or booting the ball dead, the veteran scrum-half kicked to Trinity’s left flank, winger Johnstone collected 40 metres from his own line and scorched clear for an astonishing, spectacular - and possibly unique - touchdown.

Finn converted and rather than being 24-6 down at half-time Wakefield turned around only 22-12 adrift.

Jones-Bishop had a try disallowed for a knock-on over the line early in the second half, but Trinity cut the gap on 53 minutes after a double-blunder by Lewis Tierney.

Wakefield had a let-off when the winger bounced the ball over Trinity’s line, then at the end of the next set he tackled Johnstone in the air from Jacob Miller’s kick and was sin-binned.

Wakefield tapped the penalty and Horo dummied through a gap on the short side for his second try, Finn’s third conversion cutting the gap to four points.

Drinkwater landed a penalty, his fourth successful kick, at the end of the third quarter, before Tierney’s return and Gigot opened a two-score gap with a well-taken drop goal on 67 minutes.

Wiliame’s second try, improved by Drinkwater, put the game out of Trinity’s reach with 10 minutes left and Foud Yaha pounced on a Wakefield error to complete the scoring in the 76th minute.