SL preview: Warrington v Catalans (Fri)

Warrington host Catalan in front of the SKY TV cameras on Friday which is an unlikely battle for a top eight place.

Grand Finalists for the past two seasons, the Wolves have struggled in the post-Lee Briers era, losing six of their 11 games so far, giving them an identical record with their opponents ahead of the game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Laurent Frayssinous’ men have recovered from a slow start to post four successive wins, and they could leapfrog Warrington in to the top eight with a win here.

Warrington are boosted by the return of Stefan Ratchford, while Gene Ormsby comes in to replace the unfortunate Kevin Penny, ruled out with torn knee ligaments.

Winger Joel Monaghan will make his 100th appearance for the club, if selected, and he’s also one try away from racking up a century of tries.

Captain Olivier Elima is missing for the Dragons with a leg injury, although they have been able to call-up former Wigan prop Jeff Lima as a replacement, following his own return from injury.

Warrington 19-man squad: Asotasi, Atkins, C Bridge, D Bridge, Currie, England, B Evans, R Evans, Harrison, Higham, Hill, Laithwaite, J Monaghan, M Monaghan, O’Brien, Ormsby, Ratchford, Russell, Waterhouse.

Catalan 19-man squad: Escare, Pryce, Pomeroy, Oldfield, Lima, Taia, Anderson, Barthau, Maria, Pelissier, Millard, Pala, Simon, Bousquet, Paea, Baitieri, Duport, Garcia, Guasch.

Prediction: Warrington haven’t had the best of it at home this year, while the Dragons aren’t great away – Wolves by 14

Milestones:

GREGORY MOUNIS needs one appearance to reach 250 for his career. Mounis has played 222 games for Catalan Dragons since 2006, to go with 27 appearances for France (2004-2013).

JEAN-PHILIPPE BAILE needs one appearance to reach 100 for his career. Baile has played 84 games for Catalan Dragons since 2008, to go with 15 appearances for France (2008-2013).

JOEL MONAGHAN needs one appearance to reach 100 for Warrington. Monaghan made a try-scoring Wolves debut in a 28-18 defeat to Huddersfield, at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, on 12 February, 2011. One try will also see him reach a century of touchdowns for the club.

CHRIS BRIDGE needs four tries to reach a century of touchdowns for Warrington. Bridge has scored 96 tries in 192 appearances for the Wolves since 2005.

Last ten meetings:

Catalan Dragons 12, Warrington 14 (SLR27, 7/9/13)
Warrington 24, Catalan Dragons 16 (SLR3, 15/2/13)
Warrington 15, Catalan Dragons 6 (SLR20, 9/7/12)
Catalan Dragons 22, Warrington 32 (CCQF, 13/5/12)
Catalan Dragons 44, Warrington 16 (SLR11, 9/4/12)
Catalan Dragons 12, Warrington 25 (SLR25, 20/8/11)
Warrington 20, Catalan Dragons 22 (SLR8, 3/4/11)
Catalan Dragons 12, Warrington 54 (CCSF, 8/8/10) (at Stobart Stadium, Widnes)
Catalan Dragons 29, Warrington 28 (SLR23, 24/7/10) (at Stade Aime Giral)
Warrington 40, Catalan Dragons 6 (SLR12, 25/4/10)

Super League summary:

Warrington won 9
Catalan Dragons won 9 (includes win in 2008 play-offs)
Warrington highest score: 44-16 (A, 2006) (Widest margin: 40-6, H, 2010)
Catalan Dragons highest score: 52-14 (H, 2008) (Widest margin: 52-14, H, 2008; 46-8, H, 2008 EPO)

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