It’s fair to say that last night’s game between Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos was feisty to say the least.
Catalans were given four cards – three yellows and one red – as Steve McNamara’s men simply imploded on themselves whilst the Rhinos managed to keep their cool in tremendous fashion.
That cool nature seemingly got the Rhinos over the line with Leeds eventually running out 20-10 winners in a tempestuous affair with Liam Sutcliffe dotting down three tries in one of Leeds’ best results of the season.
However, there were unsavoury scenes at the end of the play-off game with Catalans fans seemingly unhappy with the way in which referee James Child officiated the game.
One reporter who was there, tweeted: “James Child, Jenna Brooks and Terry O’Connor pelted with drinks and plastic glasses on the sidelines after the final hooter here.”
James Child, Jenna Brooks and Terry O'Connor pelted with drinks and plastic glasses on the sidelines after the final hooter here.
— Toulouse-Catalan Media 🇫🇷🏉 (@catalanmedia) September 9, 2022
It’s not exactly a good look for the sport, with Leeds head coach Rohan Smith calling the actions ‘disappointing.’
“It’s disappointing, it was a tough contest,” Smith said.
“I thought that the referee adjudicated things strongly in the second-half. There were 50/50 calls that went both ways and when the crowd kept roaring he refereed the game as he wanted which is good to see.
“To see our players treated like that it is disappointing.”
It was the Dragons that ran into the lead with the first points of the game after Bentley was found offside with Sam Tomkins notching a penalty goal for a 2-0 lead.
And, Tomkins was on target on the half-hour mark when Leeds were again found offside to make it 4-0.
That seemed to spur the visitors on, however, and Liam Sutcliffe finished off his own break after playing a one-two with Richie Myler. Zak Hardaker converted for a 6-4 lead.
It got even better for Leeds when Sutcliffe grabbed his second from a Sezer kick as they led 12-4 at the break.
Catalans, however, pegged the visitors back instantly after the break, crossing through Dean Whare after he leapt through the air like a salmon to catch Pearce’s pinpoint kick.
12-10 down and once more the Dragons were down to 12 men when Michael McIlorum was sent to the sinbin on the hour for a high tackle on Bentley.
And that gave Leeds the impetus to cross once more as Sutcliffe grabbed a superb hat-trick. Hardaker’s conversion made it 18-10 with the French side needing to score twice to win.
Gil Dudson was then sent off for the Dragons for a headbutt on Sezer, with Pearce then being sinbinned for a second twice after mouthing off at referee Child.
From that penalty, Hardaker added the two points to round off the scoring at 20-10.