Catalans Dragons moved to within a point of the top eight after a convincing 33-20 win over Leeds Rhinos at Stade Gilbert Brutus, who in turn suffered their third straight league defeat.
The Dragons got off to a great start, with three tries in the opening twenty minutes. Benjamin Jullien, Ben Garcia and Michael McIlorum all went over with Josh Drinkwater adding two goals.
Shortly after, Sam Moa was sin-binned for an off-the-ball tackle on Leeds’ Richie Myler and a few minutes later, the Rhinos took advantage of the Dragons’ being a man down. Ash Handley went over for Leeds’ first points of the game with the try of the game, after a great bit of teamwork between Jordan Lilley, Handley and Myler.
Tony Gigot added a one-pointer for the Dragons in the 34th minute to give them a 17-4 lead at half time.
Leeds were awake first in the second half with Brett Ferres crossing first before Ryan Hall added the third Leeds try of the afternoon to make it 17-14 before Catalans went on a scoring spree.
Another three tries in the final quarter from Gigot, Drinkwater and Jodie Broughton secured the win for the Dragons before Brad Dwyer scored a consolation try for the Rhinos.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Dragons Back in the Mix
Now only one point from the top 8, Catalans look like they could be scrapping with Huddersfield and Salford over the next few games to get that one spot. The introduction of Josh Drinkwater has done miracles for the Dragons as he has been instrumental in their attacking efforts.
Leeds Can’t Shift Their Losing Streak
Leeds, among several other Super League sides this season, are going through an awful patch of injuries. They have slipped to sixth in recent weeks having lost the last three games. This means youngsters have to step up and the senior players must make sure they do also.
Man Of The Match- Josh Drinkwater (Catalans)
Drinkwater has been vital throughout the past few games since his arrival in the south of France. Scoring twelve of the Dragons’ points on the night, he has been the main guy the side have gone to for ideas and has been the lynchpin during the majority of the tries that Catalans have scored in recent games.
Catalans Dragons 33
Tries: Jullien, Garcia, McIlorum, Gigot, Drinkwater, Broughton
Goals: Drinkwater 4
Drop Goals: Gigot
Leeds Rhinos 20
Tries: Handley, Ferres, Hall, Dwyer
Goals: Lilley 2
CATALANS: Gigot; Broughton, Mead, Wiliame, Tierney; Bird, Drinkwater; Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Casty.
Replacements: Anderson, Bousquet, Maria, Goudemand.
LEEDS: Golding; Briscoe, Hall, Myler, Cuthbertson; Parcell, Ablett; Ward, Dwyer, Delaney, Ferres, Handley, Ormondroyd.
Replacements: Walker, Lilley, Smith, Oledzki.
Referee: James Child
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