The Super League game of the weekend pitched second placed Warrington Wolves against the side in third spot, the Catalans Dragons. Both sides came into the round seventeen fixtures after very different Challenge Cup weekends, Warrington surviving the test of a determined Hull KR but the Dragons having been destroyed by the Black & White side of Hull.
A win for the Wolves would lift them six points clear of the chasing pack, but should they lose then Catalans would be just two points behind them in the league table.
Warrington were without the services of Jake Mamo and Tom Lineham but Catalans would also have to do it tough as they were without Remi Casty, Lewis Tierney and Brayden Wiliame.
It was an arm-wrestle for the opening 17 minutes with the Wolves shading it on position and possession. But Fouad Yaha scored the opening try when the winger received the ball five metres from the line and managed to ground one handed under a strong tackle from Josh Charnley. Sam Tomkins pushed his kick across the front of the posts, the Dragons 4-0 ahead and more than holding their own.
Some uncharacteristic errors dogged both sides before Blake Austin picked up a wayward Catalans pass before finding Daryl Clark who wove his way through the Dragons defence to score a long range try. Dec Patton added the conversion and after thirty-two minutes the Wolves had a 6-4 lead.
Warrington went into the interval with a 12-4 lead thanks to star man Blake Austin who pushed off the three tacklers, Tony Gigot being totally ineffective with his tackle, to go over under the sticks. Patton added the goal and despite being off the pace for long periods of the fist half the home side took a comfortable lead into the sheds.
Warrington extended their lead just after the interval to 14-4, thanks to the boot of Patton, after a Dragons infringement thirty metres out.
On sixty-two Josh Charnley went close but was held up by Yaha. On the next play the ball was moved to the left wing and Bryson Goodwin hit and gap and made it to the line for the third Warrington try of the afternoon, sealing the victory. Patton added the conversion for 20-4.
Sitaleki Akauola somehow managed to find his way through a crowded defence on sixty-eight to get the ball down on the line with three Dragons defenders unable to stop him. Patton kicked the conversion for 26-4, the Dragons well beaten on the road again.
A chip through from Josh Charnley was not tidied up by Gigot as it bounced into the goal area. Charnley chased his kick down and got a hand on the ball to ground it. Patton added his sixth goal of the game for 32-4.
A Patton penalty rounded off the scoring, and sealed a very convincing 34-4 win. The Dragons opened the scoring and held the lead for fifteen minutes but once Warrington got their noses in front there was no holding them back as they set about demolishing the third place sides and condemning them to a second consecutive heavy defeat. The top top sides in the division are now easing clear of the chasing pack.
Wolves: Thewlis, Johnson, Goodwin (T), King, Charnley (T), Austin (T), Patton (7G), Hill, Clark D. (T), Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Philbin. Subs: Davis, Murdoch-Masila, Clark J., Akauola (T).
Dragons: Gigot, Romano, Mead, Langi, Yaha (T), Tomkins, Smith, Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Whitley, Garcia, Bousquet. Subs: Belmas, Julien, Baitieri, Kasiano.
Referee: Chris Kendall.