Leeds Rhinos staged a second-half revival to defeat Catalans Dragons 24-30 today in Perpignan, coming back from being 22-12 down after 55 minutes.
The Dragons suffered an early injury to Greg Bird, whose absence was ultimately crucial to the result.
The Rhinos took an early lead when Liam Sutcliffe jumped to take Danny McGuire’s kick, converting his own try to give a 0-6 lead.
The Dragons replied with a try from Louis Anderson, with Tony Gigot adding the goal and then having a try diy disallowed for obstruction.
Julian Bousquet gave the Dragons the lead for the first time, and when Brayden William scored the Dragons were 16-6 ahead and were looking comfortable.
Just before the interval, however, Stevie Ward try held off two defenders touch down and Sutcliffe’s conversion reduced the deficit to four points.
Rémi Casty scored from a Richie Myler break and Gigot’s goal restored the margin to ten points.
But then the Rhinos raced home with a wet sail, with Adam Cuthbertson racing in from 20 metres, with Sutcliffe converting, before Rob Burrow scored a try of the week contender, supporting a break by Joel Moon and Ash Handley to beat Gigot to the corner to level the scores. Sutcliffe goaded from the touchline to put Leeds ahead again, but 73 Gigot levelled with a penalty on 74 minutes.
And it was Leeds captain Danny McGuire who secured the result for the Rhinos, grabbing a try from close in with three minutes to go. It was too late for the Dragons to respond.
DRAGONS: 1 Tony Gigot, 18 Vincent Duport, 5 Fouad Yaha, 4 Brayden Wiliame, 21 Iain Thornley, 22 Lucas Albert, 7 Richie Myler, 8 Sam Moa, 9 Paul Aiton, 10 Rémi Casty, 11 Louis Anderson, 15 Benjamin Garcia, 13 Greg Bird; Subs: 14 Julian Bousquet, 16 Thomas Bosc, 19 Mickael Simon, 25 Thibaut Margalet
RHINOS: 1 Ashton Golding, 2 Tom Briscoe, 14 Liam Sutcliffe, 4 Joel Moon, 22 Ash Handley, 6 Danny McGuire (C), 7 Rob Burrow, 8 Keith Galloway, 9 Matt Parcell, 16 Brad Singleton, 11 Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 13 Stevie Ward, 10 Adam Cuthbertson; Subs: 15 Brett Delaney, 20 Anthony Mullally, 25 Jordan Lilley, 28 Mikolaj Oledzki,
A full report and photos from today’s game will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express