Catalans Dragons took on Leeds Rhinos tonight at the Stade Gilbert Brutus live on Sky Sports.
And, in just the tenth minute there was already controversy with Aidan Sezer’s try ruled out for a double movement.
Sky Sports analyst Jon Wells explained why it was a try after video referee Ben Thaler denied the Leeds halfback a four-pointer.
“There is a difference between promoting the ball and moving as part of the tackle. He’s gone from full flight, chopped down by Tomkins and the ball carrying arm has hit the floor and there is only one way to go,” Jon Wells said.
It began to get feisty with Mitchell Pearce sent to the sinbin for running in after James Bentley and Michael McIlorum had a fracas on the floor.
However, it was the Dragons 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.
Losing head coach Steve McNamara was unhappy with how his side performed and has performed in recent weeks.
“We didn’t play well or play-off football, I thought we worked really hard to keep them out but we did it with 12 men for a fair part of the game,” McNamara said after the game.
“When we’re down to 12 men on three occasions it’s not helping, I think there was a huge amount of frustration from our players and that spilled out.
“We haven’t played well for five or six weeks really.”