At two points during the second half last night, I experienced two very different emotions. About ten minutes into the second half, I felt a twinge of disappointment at how this game looked like was about to turn into a blowout. Catalan Dragons led 22-2 and Wakefield had been awful. Fifteen minutes later, I had a sudden adrenaline rush, and thought that Wakefield might acutally be able to pull this one out of the bag, after tries to Luke George (twice) and Ryan Atkins had given Wakefield hope and crucial momentum heading into the final moments.
Alas, it wasn’t to be, but at least Wakefield managed to gain some pride back. For the majority of the game however they looked flat, lifeless, and frankly overawed by the stakes. They also looked rudderless and clearly missed the stabilizing influence of Danny Brough. Luckily for them Luke George looks like he’s going to be a stud, as he scored two tries (including one fabulous solo effort around Clint Greenshields) and showed awareness to set up another for Ryan Atkins when it looked like he might get selfish. George’s performance added a spark hitherto lacking by the Wildcats and almost brought them back into the game.
In the end though, Wakefield had just dug themselves into too big a hole and Catalans were able to capitalize. Where the wildcats looked listless, the Dragons looked fiery and passionate, and their forward domination led to a killer performance by the backs. That’s two impressive away performances in a row for Les Cats now, and I think teams will be wary of playing this newly-confident side in knock-out football from here on in.