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Catalans Dragons 16-36 Leeds

Catalans (0) 16
Tries: Bentley, Elima. McGuire Goals: Mounis 2

Leeds (30) 36
Tries: Hall (2), Burrow, Peacock, Webb, Donald Goals: Sinfield 6


Ryan Hall
Ryan Hall scored two first-half tries for Leeds

Leeds' first-half try blitz set up a convincing victory over the Dragons.

Ryan Hall and Rob Burrow gave Leeds an early advantage, before quick tries by Jamie Peacock, Brent Webb and Ryan Hall again put them 30-0 up at half-time.

A sloppy turnover allowed Kane Bentley to score straight after the restart and Olivier Elima produced a delightful sidestep for the Dragons' second try.

Scott Donald bagged an interception try for Leeds but Casey McGuire scored the game's final try for the Dragons.

In the penultimate game of the Magic extravganza, the opening try came when Burrow's cross-field kick found Hall in the corner.

Burrow crossed the line next when he showed a good turn of pace to follow up after Danny Buderus burst through a challenge.

After that the Dragons defence held tight until near the half-hour mark, but then three tries in quick succession ended the game as a competitive spectacle.

Peacock bulldozed over from close range, before Jamie Jones-Buchanan's double dummy set up Webb to touch down, and Hall ran half the length of the field to score his second try, straight from the restart.

Many spectators were probably not even back in their seats after the interval when Ian Kirke failed to hold Matt Diskin's pass and Bentley was quickest to capitalise and score for the Dragons.

Elima then followed this up with a nifty sidestep, and sensing that they could at least make a game of it in the second half, the Dragons went all out for a third try, a commendable approach seeing as they had lost captain Greg Bird through injury at half-time.

But that just opened them up defensively, and Donald took advantage to notch Leeds' only try of the second half.

That score snuffed out any chance of a dramatic Dragons' revival, although they did their best to end the game on a positive note.

And they did that when McGuire claimed the final score of the game in the dying seconds.

The win moved Leeds to within two points of leaders St Helens.


Catalans coach Kevin Walters:

"It was important that we played the second half, not the first half. We didn't want the score to blow out and embarrass ourselves and embarrass the club and they did that so that was good.

"Leeds were good, I'll give them that, but I think we just weren't wrestling. I try and coach my players to play football and not wrestle but it seems that we're going to have to do a lot more in that area, because all the clubs are doing it and we just have to do more of it.

"We just couldn't get dominance through the middle, they were hitting us, our aggression was good but from that point to the ground we just lost that."

Leeds coach Brian McClennan:

"The first-half performance was pretty good, we got cracking and to be 30-0 is a good effort.

"The second half we're disappointed in. We got out the blocks poorly and got stung and never recovered.

"All we can do is know that the first-half performance is where we can be and that's what we need to work on."


Catalans Dragons: Greenshields, Duport, Bell, Baile, Pelo, Bird, Mogg, Casty, McGuire, Guisset, Elima, Carlaw, Mounis. Replacements: Ferriol, Bentley, Fakir, Gossard.

Leeds: Webb, Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall, Sinfield, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Kirke, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett. Replacements: Diskin, Lauitiiti, Burgess, McGuire.

Referee: T Alibert (Toulouse).



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Ray French column
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Hull 24-16 Castleford
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Warrington v Hull KR (Sun)
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Huddersfield 40-16 Crusaders
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