Vincent Duport levelled the Catalans Dragons all-time try scoring record as the French side booked their place in the last eight of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a 56-10 win over a spirited Whitehaven at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The league one minnows came to the south of France hoping to provide an unlikely cup shock, but their tough task for Whitehaven proved correct after Jodie Broughton crossed inside the opening minute, before Michael McIlorum scored minutes later.
Whitehaven fought back and show signs to unnerve the Dragons as first Jessie Joe Parker scored in the 13th minute, before winger Dave Thompson touched down and left the score at 12-10.
Steve McNamara’s side extended their lead with two more tries, one of which was scored by Josh Drinkwater, who already looks pivotal for his side’s hopes of avoiding relegation.
The Cumbrian side struggled in the second half, being kept scoreless. However Carl Forster’s men didn’t lose any credibility and only helped boost their status and that of League One.
Catalan ran in six second half tries including Broughton rounding off his hat-trick, before Vincent Duport equalled the Catalans try-scoring accolade.
It was really fitting that Duport scored as he is the only survivor from the side in their previous meeting against Whitehaven back in 2007.
The final action of the match was Tony Gigot crossing to round off a professional performance for the French side.
A 56-10 victory for Catalans will help to boost confidence; is it a sign that the only meeting between the sides coincided with the last time the Perpignan side made the final, way back in 2007? The Frenchmen will certainly be hoping so.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Catalan Showing Signs of Improvement
With a complete performance during their round six clash, this Catalans side are showing that they could have a really chance to avoid the bottom four and have shown an upturn in form recently, coinciding with the acquisition of half-back Josh Drinkwater.
With Salford next for them at the Magic Weekend, it could be a clear opportunity to move from the bottom of the table.
Duport to be a Record Breaker
With a try in the match Duport was able to equal the Catalans top scorer record, held by Clint Greenshields.
The try was significant as he will have the opportunity to become their all time leading scorer next week at the Magic Weekend and it will be a fitting moment for a player who has made close to 200 appearances for the club.
Man Of The Match- Jodie Broughton (Catalans Dragons)
Broughton is a player who can score frequently and if he is in form and its great to see.
With a hat-trick today, it can only boost him for future matches; today was certainly a game where he took the chances and received a full deserved hat-trick.
Catalans Dragons 56
Tries: Broughton 3, Mcllorum, Drinkwater, Goudemand 2, Maria, Bousquet, Duport, Gigot
Goals: Drinkwater 6
Drop Goals: n/a
Tries: Parker, Thompson
Drop Goals: n/a
Catalans Dragons: Gigot; Broughton, Thornley, Duport, Tierney; Langi, Drinkwater; Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Baitieri
Interchanges: Bousquet, Maria, Da Costa, Goudemand
Whitehaven: Abram; Green, Mossop, Parker, Thompson; Howarth, Phillips; Shackley, Tilley, Cooper, Aiye, Gillam, Forster
Interchanges: Taylor, Coward, Brown, Eaves
Referee: M Rossleigh