In a game played in humid conditions in the south of France, Catalans Dragons just managed to overcome an enthusiastic Hull FC team, winning 20-14 to consolidate their place in the top eight of the Super League table.
But that didn’t look the likely outcome in the first ten minutes of the game, which Hull dominated, culminating in a try by Jordan Rankin from a great offload by Joe Westerman, with Marc Sneyd adding the goal.
But the Dragons hit back five minutes later when Rémi Casty made a superb break, and he was supported by Thomas Bosc, who touched down under the posts for an easy conversion for Scott Dureau.
Dureau was then penalised for stealing the ball, and Sneyd converted the penalty to restore Hull’s lead.
The game turned in the 35th minute, however, when Tony Gigot scored for the Catalans after intercepting Sneyd’s pass, and shortly before the interval Greg Mounis touched down after taking a pass from Louis Anderson, with Dureau adding both goals for an 18-8 lead.
Hull were back in the game on 51 minutes, however, when the outstanding Mark Minichiello powered his way over the line, with Sneyd’s goal reducing the deficit to four points.
And as the tension mounted Hull thought they had scored again when Fetuli Talanoa touched down in the right corner, but the video referee overruled referee Ben Thaler’s decision to award the try, ruling that defender Ben Pomeroy had been obstructed by Setaimata Sa.
Dureau extended the Dragons’ lead when he kicked a penalty, and, try as they might, Hull couldn’t quite get back in the game, and they will fall out of the top eight if Widnes win at Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday.
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.