The Qualifiers Preview: Warrington v Catalans (Sat)

WARRINGTON welcome Catalans to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the second time this season on Saturday.

The Frenchmen are in town for the second game of The Qualifiers – a competition neither side had on their agenda at the outset of Super League back in February.

The two sides met in Perpignan in the very first round of the competition, with the Dragons coming out 20-12 winners in front of 8,842 fans at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Warrington got revenge in the return fixture back in June though, winning 24-16.

As it is, both must successfully navigate a competition that includes four Championship teams to preserve their top flight status for 2018.

The Wolves got their campaign underway with a 28-14 win at Widnes, which although fairly comfortable in the end, saw them trailing 14-6 in the early stages of the second half.

Things were far less clear cut for the Dragons, who survived a real scare against second tier side London Broncos, before eventually coming out 20-18 victors.

A second win for either side will put them in pole position for retaining their Super League status.

Ben Westwood will make his 400th appearance for the Wolves.

He returns to Tony Smith’s 19-man squad, having sat out recently through suspension.

The only change for Catalans sees Iain Thornley drop out through injury, replaced by Fouad Yaha.

Squads:

Warrington: Atkins, Brown, Clark, Cooper, Dwyer, Hiku, Hill, Hughes, Julien, King, Lineham, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Russell, Savelio, Sims, Smith, Westwood.

Catalans: Inu, Wiliame, Yaha, Walsh, Myler, Moa, Aiton, Casty, Anderson, Horo, Bird, Bousquet, Garcia, Baitieri, Duport, Albert, Margalet, Navarrete, Tierney.

Prediction:

Wolves will be too strong – Warrington by 18.

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