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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 36 Catalans Dragons 22.

26th July 2015

By Leeds Rhinos

A hat trick from Tom Briscoe on his return to the Rhinos side helped ensure the Rhinos went into the Super 8s in pole position having secured top spot at the end of the regular season.

The Rhinos welcomed back Tom Briscoe and Jamie Jones-Buchanan but had to do without Joel Moon, who was sidelined with an Achilles injury. 

WP – Home MPU

Both teams had to deal with the wet and slippery conditions from the off after two hours of heavy drizzle in the build up to the game followed by more intense rain as the game got underway.
 
Leeds dominated the early possession and were good value for their lead when Briscoe finished off a flowing move to score in the corner after Watkins took play down the blind side on the last play. Kevin Sinfield added the touchline conversion to put his side into an early 6-0 lead.
 
The Rhinos enjoy a lot more possession than their opponents but were unable to find a second score and Headingley Carnegie was left stunned when the Dragons hit back with two quick fire tries. The first was from Tony Gigot timed his run to perfection to touch down Scott Dureau’s kick. The half back added the conversion to level the score and then produced a brilliant ball to put Morgan Escare over for a second try for the visitors. The conversion was missed this time but Catalans had sprung a trap and led 10-6.
 
Leeds needed a response and they came up with it by scoring two tries in the final three minutes of the first half. The first came from Tom Briscoe after good work by Jamie Peacock and Brett Delaney in the build up before Mitch Garbutt crossed for his first senior try with the final play of the half. Sinfield added the conversion to end the half and give his side a 16-10 lead at the break.
 
That lead was extended at the start of the second half when Sinfield kicked a penalty after two high tackles on the Rhinos inside the Dragons half. However, the gap was cut back to just two points when Catalans hit back through Dureau. Watkins had done well to stop an initial long range break but Dureau initially juggled a pass before dummying to pass. Ryan Hall went for the interception and Dureau cut back inside to score. He converted his own try to make it 18-16.
 
However the Rhinos kicked on after that point. Another penalty for Sinfield, following a dangerous tackle increased the gap before Watkins went 80 metres to score in the corner.
 
Delaney gave the Rhinos a significant lead when when stayed alert to the play after the ball went wide to Briscoe and he was on hand to take the return pass and score.
 
Briscoe then completed his hat trick when he won a foot race to touch down a through kick after Gigot had got a try back for the visitors. 

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