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The bookies were struggling to call the game between the Catalans Dragons and Leigh Leopards as they gave the visitors just a four-point start on the coupon despite the seven-point difference between the two sides on the league table.

A win for the Dragons would see them up to fifth, a big win could see them end the weekend in fourth while victory for the Leopards would see them to within one point of the Huddersfield Giants and towards the middle of the table in their own quest for a top six place.

Both sides had a benefitted from a week’s rest for the Cup Final and were ready to go ‘guns’ blazing’ for the win in the south of France, the Dragons looking to turn around a recent poor run of form.

The video referee took an age to agree with Jack Smith’s decision on two minutes that a Kai O’Donnell try for Leigh was the result of a knock-on, ruling out a Leopards opener.

Arthur Romano was unable to ground a grubber kick on ten, scooting the ball dead in goal rather than grounding as the Dragons missed the opportunity to open the scoring.

The first points of the game came on seventeen from the boot of Arthur Mourgue with a thirty-metre penalty goal after a late hit by O’Donnell.

A high tackle from Michael McIlorum on Tom Amone allowed Matt Moylan to level the scores as he slotted over a penalty goal on the half hour.

Brute force from Amone saw his score the first four pointer of the game on thirty-two as he crashed trough two tacklers and forced the ball to the ground by the left stick. Moylan added the conversion for 8-2 to the Leopards, a lead they would hold until the interval.

Ed Chamberlain spilled the ball in the act of grounding after taking a delightful Lachlan Lam pass as Michael McIlorum made a try saving tackle to keep Leigh from extending their lead.

An obstruction from Chris Satae on Lam gave Moylan another two points to his total for a 10-2 lead.

Leigh were frustrating the Dragons at every turn, and their fans were out singing the home support who were uncharacteristically quiet as the clock edged towards a Leopards victory.

Romano went over on seventy-six but spilled the ball as he slid over the line but a tackle.

This was the clearest sign yet that the Leigh Leopards have turned their season around and have now set their sights on the play off places as they head towards a crowded middle of the table. The Dragons were disappointing, and the wheels seem to have come off their season as they head in a downwards direction with yet another defeat at fortress Gilbert Brutus. For these two sides it will be an interesting second half of the season.

Catalans Dragons: Mourgue (1/1 G), Davies, Romano, Ikuvalu, Johnstone, Rougé, Fages, Dezaria, McIlorum, Bousquet, Sironen, Séguier, Garcia.  Subs: Nikorima, Da Costa, Navarrete, Satae. 18th Man: Maria.

Leigh Leopards: Moylan (3/3 G), Hanley, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley, O’Brien, Lam, Amone (T), Ipape, Trout, O’Donnell, Halton, Hughes. Subs: Dwyer, Davis, Chamberlain, Norman. 18th Man: McIntosh. 

Half-Time: 2-8.

Full-Time: 2-10.

Score Progression: 2-0, 2-2, 2-6, 2-8 : HT: 2-10 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Catalans – Square - Leigh.

Referee: Jack Smith.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Jun 2024 7:24 PM | Views : 7977 | Replies : 6 | BACK TO STORIES