Catalans hold off spirited Broncos in Perpignan

Catalans Dragons defeated London Broncos 32-16 at the Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan this afternoon in the first pre-season encounter for both sides.

The big disappointment for most of the 4,357 spectators was the non-appearance of marquee signing Todd Carney, who had picked up an injury in training.

But one of the Dragons’ other major signings, Willie Tonga, scored a try on debut after only three minutes, with fans’ favourite Morgan Escaré adding another twelve minutes later, with Thomas Bosc converting the second try to give the Dragons a 10-point lead.

But the Broncos competed well, and came back into the game when debutant Matt Garside, signed from Sheffield Eagles, scored after 25 minutes with Wes Naiqama converting.

The Dragons regained the initiative when Eloi Pelissier scored a converted try to restore a ten-point lead at half-time.

The Broncos opened the scoring in the second half, with Ben Hellewell touching down after a delightful move, with Naiqama unable to convert.

But the Dragons sealed the game with tries by Mathias Pala and Escaré, with Bosc converting both.

The Broncos stuck at it, however, and Naiqama scored and converted his own try with 15 minutes to go, before man of the match Ben Pomeroy touched down wide out to complete the scoring, with Bosc unable to convert the final try.

A full report and photographs for this game will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.