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Ladbrokes Challenge Cup

Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Round Six – Catalans Dragons v Featherstone Rovers Preview

Date – Sunday 17th May

Kick-off – 7:00pm

Venue – Stade Gilbert Brutus

The fourth placed team in the Championship travel to Perpignan this weekend as they take on Catalans Dragons of Super League. The Dragons put the current Super League champions to the sword last weekend while Featherstone picked up a win down in Edgware against London Broncos.

Last Time Out

Catalans hosted St Helens in round 14 of the First Utility Super League at Stade Gilbert Brutus. It was a successful day for Laurent Frayssinous’s side as they downed Saints 33-26 despite winger Adam Swift scoring four tries for the visitors. It was Swift who started the scoring on the third minute before Benjamin Garcia and Zeb Taia replied with a try each for the hosts. Saints retook the lead with two quick four pointers from Swift, completing his hat-trick, before Shannon McDonnell crossed the whitewash. Garcia notched his brace which ended the first half’s scoring with the Dragons 20-18 behind. Morgan Escare scored the second half’s first try as the hour mark passed, a penalty goal from Scott Dureau in the minutes afterwards put Catalans six points up. The lead was relinquished when Swift touched down for his fourth of the match after good work from Josh Jones. A bit of magic from Dragons second-rower Zeb Taia proved vital, though, as he burst over the try line to retake the lead for the hosts five minutes after Swift’s converted effort. Dureau converted and pinged over a drop-goal in the dying embers to seal the deal for the French outfit.

Featherstone Rovers travelled to The Hive for a clash with London Broncos. Both teams have strong top four aspirations and it was the West Yorkshire side who came out on top with a 40-32 scoreline going their way. The Rovers had a four point advantage at the break after tries from Ben Blackmore, Jy Hitchcox and Andy Bostock. The Broncos had two four pointers on the board courtesy of Jamie Thackray and Daniel Harrison. Three tries in 14 second half minutes gave Featherstone an insurmountable lead. Jamie Cording, Luke Teasdale and Nathan Chappell all touched down before London put a quick resurgence together via tries from Rhys Williams, Ben Hellewell and Jarrod Sammut. Jack Bussey put the game beyond doubt with a try four minutes from time but it was London who posted the final four pointer as Harrison completed his brace.

Key Battle

It’s very well-known that Catalans have a very good forward pack and it’s something that Featherstone will have to face up to at the weekend. Players like Olivier Elima, Remi Casty, Zeb Taia and Elliot Whitehead are all good quality Super League players but Featherstone aren’t there to be pushed aside easily as they’ll counteract the threat of the French outfit with their own forwards, such as Paul Wood, Jack Bussey, Andy Bostock and Garreth Carvell. Whether tempers flare on Sunday remains to be seen but the battle between the aforementioned forwards should be worth the admission fee on its own.


Not many sides get the better of Catalans on home turf in Super League so it’s going to take one hell of an effort for Featherstone to upset the Perpignan-based side. The quality of the Dragons should shine through in this one but Andy Hay’s side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers – Catalans by 24

I study Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland. Write about the Kingstone Press Championship for a few websites, as well as doing match reports and previews for Sheffield Eagles.

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