HAVING been well in the game up to the hour mark, Widnes wilted in the final quarter to go down 32-12 to Catalans Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

The defeat means the Vikings remain rooted to the bottom of the Betfred Super League table.

Interim head coach Francis Cummins included recently acquired Salford loanee in his team while Rhys Hanbury returned at fullback and young prop Owen Farnworth was given a place on the bench.

Handling errors in their own half by the Vikings saw them under pressure early on but their goalline defence held strong.

On ten minutes, with their first meaningful attack, Widnes took the lead when Aaron Heremaia’s grubber kick was fumbled by Catalans veteran Greg Bird behind his own tryline allowing Jay Chapelhow to pounce on the loose ball with Danny Craven converting.

Jay’s twin brother, Ted Chapelhow, had a try disallowed shortly afterwards but from the resulting scrum Hanbury sliced through the home defence to make it 10-0.

Matt Whitley had a try chalked off when he was deemed to be offside as he chased a Craven kick but Tony Gigot had no such problem at the other end when he latched onto a Bird grubber to pull six points back for his team on 26 minutes.

Catalans levelled things up when centre Brayden Williame profited from a short kick to ground the ball and make it 10-10 eight minutes from half-time and Josh Drinkwater nudged the Dragons into the lead with a 30 metre penalty goal just before the interval.

Giant French forward Julian Bousquet was sin-binned on 46 minutes for an off-the-ball hit on Jay Chapelhow and Patrick Ah Van booted the simple penalty to level the scores once more.

As the evening drew in, both sides struggled to complete their sets but a brilliant piece of play by Gigot put Catalans on the front foot as he regathered his own short drop-out and made sixty metres upfield before being illegally held down in the tackle. Drinkwater’s resulting 40 metre penalty nudged the French team 14-12 ahead on 56 minutes.

Just after the hour mark, Dragons prop Remi Casty crashed in to the side of the posts for a six-pointer which gave his side a two score cushion.

The home side now had the bit between their teeth and a nice short ball from Michael McIlorum put substitute Kenny Edwards over to make the score 26-12.

There was no way back and it was Catalans had the last word when winger Fouad Yaha chased down a kick into the in-goal with Drinkwater completing the scoring with the conversion.

Catalans: Gigot; Tierney, Mead, Williame, Yaha; Bird, Drinkwater Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Casty. Subs: Anderson, Bousquet, Maria, Edwards.

Widnes: Hanbury; Ince, Marsh, Runciman, Ah Van; Mellor, Craven; J Chapelhow, Heremaia, T Chapelhow, Whitley, Hauraki, Olbison. Subs: Wilde, Leuluai, Johnstone, Farnworth.

Half-time: 12-10.

Referee: Mr C Kendall.

Attendance: 9.339.