Match preview: Catalan Dragons V Leeds Rhinos

Kick-off 8pm, Friday February 28. On Sky Sports at 10pm.

The Dragons, who have not been in the best of form so far in 2014, are on home soil for the first time this season so have a real chance of finally turning it around. Though without talismanic half-back Scott Dureau, Julian Bosquet (suspended), Olivier Elima (suspended), Louis Anderson (not fit), Vincent Duport (injury), Ben Pomeroy (injury) and Damien Cardace (injury), it looks unlikely. In contrast, Leeds have almost a full squad to select from and are in good form, having dispatched both Hull KR and Warrington convincingly in the last two weeks.

The teams

1 Brent Webb, 2 Morgan Escaré, 3 Leon Pryce, 5 Michael Oldfield, 6 Thomas Bosc, 9 Ian Henderson, 10 Jeff Lima, 11 Zeb Taia, 13 Gregory Mounis, 15 Antoni Maria, 16 Eloi Pelissier, 17 Elliott Whitehead, 18 Daryl Millard, 20 Michael Simon, 22 Jamal Fakir, 23 Lopini Paea, 24 Jason Baitieri, 27 Jean-Phillipe Baile, 28 Frederic Vaccari

1 Zak Hardaker, 2 Ben Jones-Bishop, 3 Kallum Watkins, 4 Joel Moon, 5 Ryan Hall, 6 Danny McGuire, 7 Rob Burrow, 8 Kylie Leuluai, 9 Paul Aiton, 10 Jamie Peacock, 12 Carl Ablett, 13 Kevin Sinfield, 14 Stevie Ward, 15 Brett Delaney, 16 Ryan Bailey, 18 Chris Clarkson, 20 Tom Briscoe, 21 Liam Sutcliffe, 23 Brad Singleton

What the bookies think

Leeds are 1/3 to win and carry a 10-point handicap. Catalan are 5/2.

Jamie Peacock runs at Louis Anderson in 2013. ©RLPhotos
Jamie Peacock runs at Louis Anderson in 2013. ©RLPhotos

Our prediction

Even on French soil Leeds should punish the Dragons. Expect at least a 12 point deficit in favour of the Yorkshire club.

What Stats Man says

An interesting fact: Leeds’ Kevin Sinfield has scored points in all 19 of the Rhinos’ meetings with the Dragons since 2006.

This is what has happened in the last ten meetings between the clubs:

Leeds 20, Catalan Dragons 12 (SLR26, 30/8/13)
Catalan Dragons 12, Leeds 27 (SLR10, 1/4/13)
Catalan Dragons 20, Leeds 27 (SLPSF, 21/9/12)
Catalan Dragons 38, Leeds 34 (SLR25, 18/8/12)
Leeds 34, Catalan Dragons 18 (SLR12, 20/4/12)
Catalan Dragons 38, Leeds 18 (SLR21, 10/7/11)
Leeds 30, Catalan Dragons 6 (SLR14, 13/5/11)
Leeds 52, Catalan Dragons 6 (SLR26, 20/8/10)
Catalan Dragons 24, Leeds 34 (SLR10, 5/4/10)
Leeds 27, Catalan Dragons 20 (SLQSF, 2/10/09)

Super League summary
Catalan Dragons won 4
Leeds won 15 (includes wins in 2009 & 2012 play-offs)
Catalan Dragons highest score: 38-18 (H, 2011); 38-34 (H, 2012) (Widest margin: 38-18, H, 2011)
Leeds highest score: 60-12 (H, 2006) (Widest margin: 58-10, A, 2006; 60-12, H, 2006)

Want more Rugby League news and features? Subscribe to the online version of League Express newspaper and Rugby League World magazine. You can also connect with Total Rugby League on the social media platform of your choice.