Ahead of kickoff tonight, check out Rick Edgerton's preview of the second #Origin clash.
38 hours ago - 1 Likes
Castleford had levelled the scores at 10-10 after a sluggish start but they were no match for the hosts after a Verges double late in the first half turned the game.
Mark Hughes and Jerome Guisset both touched down twice for the Dragons while there were further tries for Thomas Bosc and Justin Murphy.
Michael Dobson kicked 15 points while the Tigers? tries came from Michael Platt, Ben Roarty and Luke Dyer.
There was little sign of the wet weather which had blighted the rest of the weekend?s Super League campaign but Castleford should have felt comfortable with the cool conditions in the Stade Domec.
Yet the match, originally scheduled for Figueres in Spain and the first taken ?on the road? by Perpignan-based Catalans, remained very much a Dragons home game and their large following were soon in good voice.
The Dragons took the lead after just two minutes as Chris Beattie powered forward and sent Bosc under posts with a deflected pass.
Cas tried to force their way back into the game but the French side absorbed the best they could offer in the first quarter, although Alex Chan was placed on report after an incident involving Danny Nutley.
Catalans broke to extend their lead after 22 minutes with Hughes applying the finishing touches to a Jamal Fakir pass after Julien Rinaldi had quickly regathered the ball.
The Tigers responded well with two quickfire tries, Platt diving over after Roarty had driven close to the line.
The scores were then levelled as Roarty raced onto a Ryan McGoldrick pass and shook off the attentions of Verges to touch down, Andy Kain converting.
Yet Verges more than made amends for his failure to stop Roarty as he hit Cas with two tries in the closing minutes of the half to give his side a 20-10 interval lead.
He jinked his way over on the left and then followed by sprinting down the touchline to finish off a lightning counter-attack.
Cas tried to force the pace early in the second half but again the home side held firm and forced hooker Andy Henderson to spill the ball in a promising position.
The visitors paid the price as Catalans went further ahead with another breakaway try. Michael Shenton left the defence trailing as he broke from inside his own half and although he was stopped just short of the line, Renaud Gigue quickly put Hughes over for his second.
Dobson?s third goal extended the lead to 26-10 but Dyer crossed on 56 minutes to maintain Tigers hopes.
It did not last long as Dobson sent over a drop goal and Murphy burrowed over from close range to put the game beyond doubt after 70 minutes.
A tiring Cas defence then conceded again just two minutes later as Chan broke and former Wigan and Warrington prop Guisset crashed over out wide.
Guisset raced through for his second just moments later and the game was well and truly up for the Tigers as Verges sneaked over in the corner to complete his hat-trick in the last minute.
Catalans Dragons (20) 51. Tries: Bosc, Hughes 2, Verges 3, Murphy, Guisset 2. Goals: Dobson 7. Drop Goals: Dobson.
Castleford (10) 14. Tries: Platt, Roarty, Dyer. Goals: Kain.
Catalans Dragons: Bosc, Murphy, Wilson, Hughes, Verges, Rudder, Dobson, Beattie, Rinaldi, Guisset, Fakir, Hindmarsh, Mounis. Replacements: Chan, Fellous, Berthezene, Guigue.
Castleford: Platt, Shenton, Bird, Viane, Dyer, McGoldrick, Kain, Ward, Henderson, Nutley, Fa'aoso, Manu, Whitaker. Replacements: Haughey, Handforth, Fletcher, Roarty.
Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)