Leeds Rhinos have gone to the top of the Super League table after defeating Catalans Dragons 22-38 in Perpignan today, while the Dragons have now dropped into the bottom four.
The Rhinos opened the scoring after six minutes with a try from Carl Ablett after good work by Adam Cuthbertson, with Liam Sutcliffe adding the goal.
The Dragons replied with a try from Elliott Whitehead after great work by Scott Dureau and Ian Henderson, with Dureau’s goal equalling the scores.
The Rhinos went ahead again seven minutes before half-time when Stevie Ward broke through through Benjamin Garcia’s tackle to touch down, but this time Sutcliffe couldn’t add the conversion, and the score remained at 6-10 until the break.
But the Dragons attacked strongly at the start of the second half, scoring three tries. Whitehead, after a great offload by Julian Bousquet, was the first to touch down, and he was followed by Eloi Pelissier who got over the line from dummy-half, while Damien Cardace scored a fine try in the corner following a superb offload by Ben Pomeroy. Dureau converted the first two to give a scoreline of 22-10, with the Dragons looking to be firmly in the driving seat after 53 minutes.
But the Rhinos responded with five tries without any response from the Dragons.
Brad Singleton scored from close, and then two minutes later Danny McGuire scored, after great work by Ryan Hall and Joel Moon, with Sutcliffe’s goal putting the scores level at 22-22
Sutcliffe then scored a try following his own kick through as Willie Tonga lost his footing. Sutcliffe missed the conversion, but by now the Rhinos were well in command, and they went on to score two more tries in the final five minutes to seal the victory.
Kallum Watkins scored in the corner from an excellent pass from Rob Burrow and Zak Hardaker added one right at the end after the Catalans went for a short kick-off. Sutcliffe goaled both the final two tries for a final score of 22-38.
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.