WARRINGTON Wolves had to settle for a point as they were held to a 22-all draw by Catalans Dragons on Thursday night.
Both sides missed drop goal attempts in the closing stages and the Wolves almost stole it at the death, only to be pulled back for a forward pass.
It was a possible dress rehearsal for next month’s Challenge Cup final, with both sides set to take part in the semi-final double header at Bolton in three weeks time.
But a draw now means the Wolves may well be looking over their shoulder at Hull in the race for the top four, the Airlie Birds can move within three points.
While for Catalans, the draw lifts them in to sixth place, three points clear of Leeds.
Prior to the game, Warrington’s bid to be a host city for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup was launched.
Live from Warrington Wolves for launch of Warrington’s bid to be a host Town #RLWC2021
Posted by Warrington worldwide on Thursday, July 12, 2018
Former Wolves back-rower Benjamin Julien broke the deadlock on five minutes with a try, but it was all square 10 minutes later when Bryson Goodwin scored off Kevin Brown’s kick.
Josh Drinkwater nudged the Dragons back in front with a penalty, before a quickfire double from Josh Charnley and Harvey Livett had the hosts 16-8 to the good.
But Catalans hit straight back through Michael McIlorum and they would lead 20-18 at half time thanks to Tony Gigot’s try two minutes before the break.
There would be no tries after the break, as instead the two sides looked towards goal to gain the advantage.
Tyrone Roberts levelled things up at 20-all on 45 minutes after Goodwin was obstructed, and on 53 minutes, put the Wolves two points ahead.
Catalans would play most of the final 10 minutes with 12 men after Mickael Simon was sinbinned but it wouldn’t stop them earning a penalty on 71 minutes which Drinkwater converted to make it 22-all.
Gigot missed with the first drop goal attempt and then Charnley had a try ruled out by the video referee.
Both Roberts and Drinkwater would also miss with one point efforts, and the two teams had to settle for a draw.
Warrington: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, T King, Charnley, K Brown, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Livett, Hughes, Westwood. Subs: Philbin, Pomeroy, Patton, Akauola.
Catalans: Gigot, Tierney, Mead, Wiliame, Yaha, Langi, Drinkwater, Casty, McIlorum, Simon, Julien, Garcia, Bird. Subs: Bousquet, Moa, Edwards, Baitieri.
Pictures Eddie Whitham