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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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Catalans stun Wembley to become first non-English side to win Challenge Cup

The French side made history on Saturday.

Catalans beat Warrington at Wembley.
Catalans beat Warrington at Wembley.

CATALANS DRAGONS BECAME the first non-English club to win the Challenge Cup with a 20-14 victory over Warrington Wolves at Wembley.

The Perpignan side only retained their Super League status by winning the Million Pound Game last year and 11 months later they were celebrating their finest hour in the London sun.

Lewis Tierney’s early try set the tone and Ben Garcia added another to put Catalans 14-6 up at the break, Josh Drinkwater slotting over a penalty after Ben Murdoch-Masila went under the posts to get Warrington on the board.

Brayden Wiliame scored a third try for the Dragons early in the second half, with George King’s score and a Tyrone Roberts penalty setting up a grandstand finish.

Spirited Catalans held on to make history in Steve McNamara’s first full season in charge, with Tony Gigot awarded the Lance Todd Trophy as Warrington failed to lift the famous trophy for a ninth time.

The Dragons stunned St Helens to reach their second Challenge Cup final and they set about causing another upset by crossing inside two minutes, Benjamin Jullien offloading for Tierney to finish in the corner after Stefan Ratchford dropped a high ball.

Drinkwater converted superbly and added a penalty with only seven minutes played, Warrington looking rattling as a Tom Lineham try was ruled out for obstruction.

Steve Price’s side lacked composure in a frantic encounter, but Murdoch-Masila was on hand to scoop up a loose ball and cross after Fouad Yaha failed to deal with a high kick.

Catalans maintained their intensity and increased their advantage when Garcia stormed over the line from dummy half and Willieme finished as Warrington paid the price for more errors, Drinkwater adding the extras with a fine conversion.

A brilliant last-ditch tackle from David Mead denied Lineham in the corner and although King’s try and a Roberts penalty got Warrington right back in it, Catalans deservedly held out to enter the record books.

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