Catalans Dragons 40-36 Leigh Centurions

Catalans Dragons 40-36 Leigh Centurions

Report

Julian Bousquet’s last-minute try snatched a much-needed win for Catalans, as they beat Leigh 40-36 in an absolute thriller in Perpignan.

The Dragons had lost their last three in a row, with their chances of making the top eight before 23 rounds still hanging in the balance.

However, Saturday’s win is a huge boost for Steve McNamara’s side, who now sit in ninth place, two points behind Wigan, who will face Widnes tomorrow.

In what was a very tit-for-tat game, it was the visitors who came flying out of the blocks, with Josh Drinkwater’s high kicks causing early problems for the Dragons’ defence.

After outjumping Jodie Broughton to collect Josh Drinkwater’s bomb on two minutes, Cory Paterson found Matty Fleming, but the on-loan St Helens centre couldn’t convert after his pass to Drinkwater went forward. While the chance came to nothing, the aerial route seemed to work for the Centurions, and provided them with the field position for their first try moments later.

Krisnan Inu spilled another Drinkwater bomb, allowing Leigh to spread it wide with Glenn Stewart providing the crucial pass to put Matty Dawson over in the corner. Ben Reynolds converted to give his side a 6-0 lead.

10 minutes later and Leigh had not only doubled, but tripled their lead, with two quick fire tries courtesy of Danny Tickle and Reynolds.

A quick dart-and-pass from dummy half by Liam Hood put Tickle over next to the posts, before Reynolds managed to dummy his way through the Dragons line from 20m out to score, converting both tries in the process. The Centurions’ standoff needed a big performance after the club this week signed Cronulla pivot Daniel Mortimer to provide competition in the halves.

Despite the early onslaught, the French side managed to grab a try of their own. They moved the ball wide before Tony Gigot’s perfectly-timed pass found Jodie Broughton, who squeezed in in the corner.

Whether it was a lapse in concentration from Leigh or a surge in effort from Catalans, the Dragons were having plenty of possession in the Leigh half. And despite the Centurions’ best efforts, it wasn’t long until their lead was closed to just six points, after Mickael Simon muscled his way over under the posts. As with Broughton’s try, Luke Walsh made no mistake with the conversion.

After being dominated for much of the half, the Dragons would have been content going in at halftime just 18-12 down, but Leigh were having none of it, running in two further tries before the break.

The first came with an air of controversy, after Fouad Yaha was pushed by Ben Crooks when looking to shepherd Reynolds’ kick into touch. Crooks subsequently picked up the ball and put Sam Hopkins over.

The prop then found himself scoring again, grounding after a bustling run from close range. Reynolds converted on the hooter, making it 28-12 to Leigh at halftime.

The second half started in a fiery fashion that saw both sides reduced to twelve, after Crooks and Greg Bird were sin binned for fighting.

The home side handled the one-man deficit much better, scoring two tries down Crooks’ right side. Fouad Yaha crashed over first before an impressive team effort saw Vincent Duport step his way to the line. Walsh could only convert once to make it 22-28.

With both sides back to full complement, the game swung back in the favour of Leigh, with Reynolds going over for his second try on 54 minutes. A deft grubber from Drinkwater was miraculously grounded just before the dead-ball line by the standoff, who converted his own try moments later.

Much like the whole afternoon, though, the Dragons refused to give in, responding almost immediately. This try came courtesy of a stroke of luck, with Walsh’s scrappy kick ricocheting off numerous legs before being pounced on by Sam Moa. Walsh added the extras to cut the gap back to six.

With just over ten minutes to go the game hung in the balance, but another Dragons try set up a tense finish. Bird laid the ball on a plate for Justin Horo, who bulldozed through three men to get over the line. Another successful Walsh conversion tied the game with the Dragons looking stronger going into the final period.

But after a missed drop-goal attempt from Walsh, Leigh got a penalty 40m out on the following attack. They chose to kick for goal to which Reynolds obliged, his effort just squeezing inside the left post.

Leigh seemed to have sealed the game, managing to contain the Dragons for most of the last 10. But with just over a minute to go, an Adam Higson knock on gave them possession in the Centurions’ half.

Catalans threw everything at the Leigh line, with Horo and Moa both going close. But with 15 seconds left to play, Paul Aiton found Julian Bousquet on the short side, who was able to hit the line and spin his way over to win it. Walsh sealed the game with the conversion, ending a scintillating 80 minutes of Rugby League.

Referee: Gareth Hewer

Scoring Sequence: 0-6, 0-12, 0-18, 6-18, 12-18, 12-22, 12-28, 18-28, 22-28, 22-34, 28-34, 34-34, 34-36, 40-36.

Written by Jack Conlon.

Catalans Dragons

# Player Position Tries Goals Drop Goals Yellow Red Star Man
1Tony GigotFull Back000000
2Jodie BroughtonWing100000
3Krisnan InuCentre000000
5Fouad YahaWing000000
6Luke WalshStand Off060000
7Richie MylerScrum Half000000
8Sam Moa 14Prop100000
9Paul AitonHooker000000
10Remi Casty 19Prop000000
12Justin Horo 11Second Row100000
13Greg BirdLoose Forward000000
17Jason Baitieri 15Loose Forward000000
18Vincent DuportCentre100000
11Louis Anderson 12Interchange000000
14Julian Bousquet 8Interchange100000
15Benjamin Garcia 17Interchange000000
19Mickael Simon 10Interchange200001
 Total 760001

Leigh Centurions

# Player Position Tries Goals Drop Goals Yellow Red Star Man
1Mitch BrownFull Back000000
2Adam HigsonWing000000
3Ben CrooksCentre000000
5Matty DawsonWing100000
7Josh DrinkwaterScrum Half000000
11Cory PatersonSecond Row000000
12Glenn Stewart 29Second Row000000
13Harrison Hansen 23Loose Forward000000
15Danny TickleSecond Row100000
20Ben ReynoldsStand Off260000
21Liam Hood 14Hooker000000
22Matty FlemingCentre000000
24Jamie Acton 16Prop000000
14Eloi Pelissier 21Interchange000000
16Antoni Maria 24Interchange000000
23Sam Hopkins 13Interchange200000
29Lachlan Burr 12Interchange000000
 Total 660000

Match Details

Date Time League Season Match Day
July 1, 2017 6:00 pm Super League 2017 Saturday

Results

Team1st half2nd halfFinal score
Catalans Dragons122840
Leigh Centurions28836