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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Catalan Dragons 38 Leeds Rhinos 34

18th August 2012

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos and Catalan Dragons shared twelve tries between them in a thrilling game in Perpignan that means the Dragons take a big step in their top three challenge.

Both players were ruled out through injury leaving Head Coach Brian McDermott to re-shuffle his side for a crucial league game seven days before the biggest game of the year at Wembley for the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final.

WP – Home MPU

Catalan have won more home games than any other team in Super League this season and they intimidating home ground was expected to be packed for the visit of the World Champions.

The Rhinos faced a cauldron of partisan support in the impressive Stade Gilbert Brutus as they looked to leapfrog Catalan Dragons in the Stobart Super League table.

Leeds were given an early warning when David Ferriol went close but knocked on near the line however Scott Dureau then set up Setaimata Sa for the opening try out wide. Dureau then curled in his conversion attempt from the touchline to make it 6-0.

The visitors were making minor in roads in to the home defence but they were hit by a long range counter attack when Leon Pryce broke clear and fed Dureau to score after 13 minutes. He converted his own try to make it 12-0.
Worse was to come for Leeds as Catalan crossed for their third try following a long spell of pressure on the visitors line and eventually the weight of momentum took its toll and Remi Casty powered his way over from close range. Dureau making it 18-0 after 21 minutes.

Leeds finally hit back after 28 minutes when Kallum Watkins broke down the touchline before throwing a long pass back in field to Shaun Lunt. The hooker did well to race towards the posts and just managed to touch down before two defenders converged on him. Sinfield added the conversion to give his side a lifeline in the game.

Eight minutes later Dureau extended his side’s lead when Ian Kirke was penalised for not rolling away whilst nursing a nasty head wound on the floor and he opted to kick for goal.

Leeds had the last say in the first half when they crossed for their second try. Watkins was getting real joy down his side and he made the most of the space as he raced down the touchline to score. Sinfield added the conversion with the last piece of action of the half to make it 20-12 at the break.

The second half saw the home side dominate the opening quarter as they controlled possession and territory. They got their reward when Vincent Duport crossed for his side’s fourth try of the game. Dureau maintained his kicking form to increase the lead further.

Catalan had appeared to have put the result beyond doubt when Casty crossed for his second try of the game and Dureau made it 32-12 with just over an hour to go.

However they was the cue for a remarkable fight back from Leeds. When Ryan Hall showed great strength to go over for a try whilst being held by three tacklers it looked little more than consolation. The glimmer of hope roared into life when the England man then put Jimmy Keinhorst over for a try as he collected Sinfield’s cross field kick and threw it down to the Leeds Met student to go over untouched. Sinfield converted both to put the game right back in the balance at 32-24.

Leeds needed to get another score quickly and the home fans were stunned when Hall crossed for a second try following a low pass from Keinhorst out of the tackle. Sinfield missed the conversion but Leeds were now within four points of the Dragons.

The Rhinos were chancing their arm and unlucky not to create another opening however that left them susceptible to the counter attack and Daryl Millard was awarded a try by the video referee although it initially looked like Jones-Bishop had got the first touch down. Dureau was on target again to re-establish the ten point lead.

The Champions still did not give in and came back once again with Watkins forcing his way over in traffic. Sinfield kicked the conversion to make the final score 38-34 on a remarkable night in the South of France.

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