SL Preview: Catalans v Widnes

Catalans are boosted by the return from suspension of livewire full-back Morgan Escare, who will provide plenty of attacking threat.

Powerful forward Louis Anderson also bolsters the French outfit’s forward back, returning after illness.

Kevin Brown, Joe Mellor and Rhys Hanbury are rested by Widnes coach Denis Betts, while Patrick Ah Van, Danny Craven, Tom Gilmore, Grant Gore, Declan Hulme, Phil Joseph and Ben Kavanagh are all included.

Prediction: This will be a tough trip for a depleted Widnes side, and Catalans, on their own ground in Perpignan, should put them to the sword, winning by 16 points at least.

Catalans Dragons (from): Escare, Pomeroy, Tonga, Dureau, Elima, Henderson, Casty, Taia, Anderson, Mounis, Bosc, Pelissier, Whitehead, Garcia, Pala, Cardace, Bousquet, Maria, Baitieri.

Widnes (from): Ah Van, Brown, Craven, Galea, Gerrard, Gilmore, Gore, Heremaia, Hulme, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Manuokafoa, Marsh, O’Carroll, Owens, Phelps, White, Whitley.

Stats:

Widnes are seeking their first ever win against Catalans Dragons, having lost five and drawn two of the previous meetings between the sides.

Catalans duo Vincent Duport (1-2-1) and Morgan Escare (3-1-1) have both scored tries in the Dragons’ last three meetings with Widnes.

Widnes’ Jack Owens has scored tries in the Vikings’ last three meetings with Catalans Dragons (2-2-1).

Super League summary:

Catalans Dragons won 4

Widnes won 0

2 draws

Catalans Dragons highest score: 76-6 (H, 2012) (also widest margin)

Widnes highest losing score: 34-42 (H, 2012)

All previous meetings:

Widnes 26, Catalans Dragons 26 (SLR15, 30/5/14)
Catalans Dragons 42, Widnes 20 (SLR8, 12/4/14)
Widnes 32, Catalans Dragons 32 (SL17, 2/6/13)
Catalans Dragons 46, Widnes 14 (SLR7, 16/3/13)
Widnes 34, Catalans Dragons 42 (SLR13, 20/5/12)
Catalans Dragons 76, Widnes 6 (SLR8, 31/3/12)
Widnes 16, Catalans Dragons 34 (CCR5, 21/5/06)

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