CATALANS DRAGONS ended a three-match losing streak in the Super League Super 8s, limping past Wakefield Wildcats 14-10 in a below-par affair at Belle Vue.
The French outfit were under pressure during the early stages of the round-five clash but, having eventually broken the deadlock, they took a two-score advantage into the break.
Chris Chester’s Wakefield, who remain winless in this end-of-season play-off campaign, bombed countless opportunities to take control of the tie before half-time.
And it was more of the same from the Wildcats after the interval, despite the home side managing to prevent the visiting Dragons from breaching their own line again.
After repelling Wakefield’s initial assaults, Catalans – in their first genuine attack –burst through and hit the front courtesy of a Jason Baitieri try, which full-back Tony Gigot improved from bang in front.
Max Jowitt hit back in style for the hosting Wildcats, though Liam Finn was way off the mark with the resulting conversion attempt.
Fouad Yaha wasted a chance to reply immediately for the Dragons and Wakefield’s Craig Hall had an effort ruled out on the quarter-hour mark. On 23 minutes, Julian Bousquet crossed following an impressive last-tackle play. Gigot added the extras, making it 12-4.
There was no change to the scoreboard until shortly after the restart, Michael Sio having what looked a certain try ruled out, prior to winger Hall putting a ball down with the whitewash beckoning.
It was third time lucky for Hall on 45 minutes as he got on the end of a bouncing Jacob Miller kick-through.
Finn converted from just to the left of the uprights and the Wildcats were within two points of levelling matters.
Wakefield’s Scott Anderson dropped the ball over the line on the hour mark, just prior to Catalans’ Olivier Elima being sin-binned, but despite being at a numerical disadvantage, the Perpignan outfit held firm.
It was a dramatic finish, with David Fifita going close for the Wildcats with just seconds to spare, but a 66th-minute Gigot penalty-goal provided the game’s final points and Wakefield were condemned to yet another defeat.
Meanwhile, Wakefield have confirmed the signing of winger Mason Caton-Brown from Salford Red Devils on a two-year contract beginning next season.
Caton-Brown, 23, began his career at London Broncos and had a spell on dual-registration with Hemel Stags before joining Salford two years ago.
He said: “I am excited for the new challenge at Wakefield, it is a great club.
“I am looking forward to working with [coach] Chris Chester and the team to build on the season they’ve had and to push myself further as a player.”
Chester described Caton-Brown as a “great addition” and added: “He is a quick and powerful player and I am looking forward to working with him.”
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Jowitt, Johnstone, B. Tupou, Lyne, Hall, Miller, Finn, Scruton, Sio, Arona, Ashurst, Molloy, Harrison. Substitutes: Simon, A. Tupou, Anderson, Fifita.
Catalans Dragons: Gigot, Broughton, Garcia, Duport, Yaha, Stewart, Myler, Elima, Aiton, Casty, Anderson, Horo, Baitieri. Substitutes: Bousquet, Pelissier, Mounis, Seguier.
Referee: James Child (RFL).