The results of the Magic Weekend were not what either team would have wished for, with each side’s performance mirroring that of the other.
Catalans, who opened the second day of Magic with a game against Huddersfield Giants, were slow starters, registering no points in the first half and conceding 16.
They eventually came back to lead, with a duo of tries from Todd Carney, but a last minute McGillvary try and touchline conversion from Brough were enough to force a draw; a rare game in which both sides felt the draw to be a point lost.
Warrington, on the other hand, reflected the performance of the Dragons’ opponents, and raced into a 16-8 points lead at half time against local rivals St. Helens; a score that could have been 20, were it not for two missed conversions.
Whilst the trend of Wolves victories over the Saints from the previous two Magic Weekends appeared to be continuing, St. Helens came back into the game with an incredible 2nd half performance and ultimately snatched the game 20-16, keeping Warrington scoreless for the second stanza.
Both sides came away from the Magic Weekend, then, ultimately dismayed at their overall performances, firmly with the knowledge that an 80 minute performance is necessary to secure a victory. Team character will be the test on Friday night, and the side that can leave Sunday’s disappointment in the past are sure to be the team who go on to stretch a two point lead in the league over the other.
A huge blow for the travelling Dragons fans, for not just Friday’s game, but potentially the remainder of the Super League season, is the absence of Todd Carney and Willie Tonga through injuries picked up on Sunday.
The pair have a sporadic rate of appearances in their first Super League season, with Carney only playing sevem of a possible 16; Tonga a more respectable 14, though two of those games saw him leave the field within the first quarter.
My inclinations of this game lean me towards Warrington, who came out of the game less scathed than Catalans and with considerably more to prove; they now having lost two of their last four, and have lost as many as they have won all season.
The Dragons are perhaps the most unpredictable team in the league (see their 58-16 victory over Wigan only the week before struggling against Huddersfield), but without Carney in the Dragons side, and the stated necessity for the Wolves to improve, expect Warrington to take over the game in the second half, with a scare or two for the home supporters along the way, and win by a decisive margin.