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Catalan crush overwhelmed Widnes
Catalan Dragons maintained their mid-season return to form with a resounding 42-20 win over Widnes as Elliott Whitehead registered his first hat-trick for the club.
Ben Pomeroy and Vincent Duport also crossed for two tries each in the Super League rout, which was on the cards from the early stages.
The home side almost scored after 60 seconds and would have but for a last-gasp tackle by Paddy Flynn on Morgan Escare.
The Dragons did open the scoring on five minutes though, Eloi Pelissier scooting away from the acting half and offloading to Pomeroy who barged his way over to score. Thomas Bosc missed the goal.
Five minutes later, and Catalan were in again, Jason Baitieri and Olivier Elima doing the hard work in the middle before Eloi Pelissier and Leon Pryce combined to send Whitehead in for his first try of the afternoon. Bosc again missed the conversion.
Catalan scored their third and best try of the match in the 17th minute, Escare and Daryl Millard combining to go the length of the field as they returned Kevin Brown's kick down-field. Bosc this time added the goal to take the score to 14-0.
Widnes came back at Catalan, scoring their first try when Declan Hulme and Rhys Hanbury combined to send in Paddy Flynn to score. Danny Tickle missed the goal.
Widnes narrowed the gap to four points as Jack Owens pounced on Brown's kick to the right, with Tickle's conversion narrowing the Catalan lead.
Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous looked furious as he marched pitch-side to blast his troops. That appeared to work as Whitehead latched onto Pryce's pass to scored his second try of the afternoon. Bosc missed another shot at goal.
After half-time, the home side ran riot, Duport scoring seven minutes in after a long pass from Whitehead. Bosc again missed the goal.
Pomeroy scored his second 10 minutes later, powering his way over from short range from Escare's pass. Escare missed the goal.
From the restart, Dragons pounced on a Brown error, Whitehead picking up the loose ball and racing 40 metres to score under the posts. Bosc converted to take the scores to 32-10
With 14 minutes remaining, Widnes registered a consolation effort, Flynn offloading for Lloyd White to score in the corner. Tickle converted the goal.
Catalan quickly stamped their authority back on the game, Duport chasing his own kick through to score down the right. Escare converted to take the scores to 38-16.
Catalan went back up the field and threw the ball around for fun, Millard the next scorer five minutes from time, Pryce and Garcia sending the winger in at the corner. Escare missed the conversion.
Widnes were well beaten but had the final say on the scoreboard, Hep Cahill sending Owens in for his second try in the left corner, Tickle failing to add the touchline conversion.