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The Rhinos filled their boots last week against the London Broncos but round eleven saw them with a daunting trip to the south of France to take on a Catalans Dragons side who were looking for the win to rejoin a cluster of clubs at the top of the table on sixteen league points.

A win for Leeds would lift them into the top six, but a big win could see them go ahead of the Dragons and as high as fourth in the table, but the bookies were favouring a home win, giving the visitors a fourteen-point start on the coupon.

Could the Rhinos make it three wins on the trot to find some sort of consistency or would it be the Dragons who would take their second win in their last five outings after a disappointing couple of rounds.

Leeds were giving away early penalties and conceding ground too easily, but knew that the Dragons would not need too many invitations. Jayden Nikorima came the closest to scoring on eleven but was hauled down just short, and then Tom Davies was held up over the line by an aggressive Leeds defence. Both sides were making errors in possession as they pushed for points.

When Leeds spilled the ball in the tackle on fifteen, the Dragons took a couple of tackles to set up before switching the ball wide right with Davies sliding over in the corner off a Matt Ikuvalu pass for the opening points. Arthur Mourgue added the touchline conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Leeds were penalised for an offside on eighteen inside their own forty, Mourgue kicking the penalty to extend the lead by two points.

On twenty-six Chris Satae spilled the ball on the Leeds line when it looked simpler to score, the Rhinos surviving another Dragons onslaught.

When Leeds forced a goal line drop out Jordan Abdull tried a short one but failed to make ten metres resulting in a Leeds penalty but four plays in Leeds dropped the ball to release the pressure.

The Rhinos had ridden their luck on numerous occasions in the first half and after being on the back foot for the majority of the forty they were only trailing by eight points at the interval, Steve McNamara would be frustrated, Rohan Smith delighted.

Leeds had the better of the opening exchanges in the second half but neither side was exuding confidence.

An awful pass from the back of a Rhinos attacking scrum went to ground and was gratefully collected by Tom Johnstone on his own twenty metre line with the lightening fast winger sprinting to the other end of the field for the Dragons second try. Mourgue added the conversion and the Rhinos needed to score three converted tries in the remaining twenty-five minutes.

With four minutes remaining Arthur Mourgue ripped the Rhinos defence apart to score from thirty metres after stepping his way past three Rhinos defenders to score under the sticks. Mourgue added the conversion.

Inside the last sixty seconds Alrix Da Costa lunged for the line and stretched to ground. The decision was sent to the video referee as a ‘TRY’ and the fourth official agreed. Mourge added the extras five from five on the evening, for a 26-0 victory.

An error strewn game which both sides and coaches will want to forget, the Dragons being happy that they got the two points to lift them level with three other sides at the top of the table, but disappointed with their performance against a Leeds Rhinos side who were there for the taking by a bag full of tries. Leeds will take some solace from their defence and that they managed to keep the Dragons limited in their scoring but that they were unable to cross the whitewash themselves and ended up scoreless.

Catalans Dragons: Mourgue (T, 5/5 G), Davies (T), Romano, Ikuvalu, Johnstone (T), Nikorima, Abdull, Navarrete, McIlorum, Bousquet, Sims, Sironen, McMeeken.  Subs: Da Costa (T), Rougé, Satae, Matia. 18th Man: Laguerre.

Leeds Rhinos: Miller, Edgell, Roberts, Martin, Handley, Frawley, Sinfield, Oledzki, O’Connor, Sangare, McDonnell, Goudemand, Smith. Subs: Lisone, Johnson, Ackers, Ruan. 18th Man: Nicholson-Watton. 

Half-Time: 8-0.

Full-Time: 26-0.

Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 8-0 : HT: 12-0, 14-0, 18-0, 20-0, 24-0, 26-0  :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Catalans.

Referee: Tom Grant.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th May 2024 7:16 PM | Views : 2533 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES