Stats Pack: Catalans Dragons
Tonight sees Leeds Rhinos travel to the Stade Gilbert Brutus to take on Catalans Dragons for the second time in seven days, kick off 6:15pm. Watch the match live on Sky Sports Arena as well as on the OurLeague app if you are a Rhinos season or flexi member.
Before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Richard Agar and Steve McNamara’s sides.
Team Head to Head
After 12 games played each, Leeds and Catalans are quite close statistically, even though there are six places separating the two sides in the table.
This will be the 38th meeting between the two clubs since the Dragons entered Super League in 2006 and the Rhinos have the far superior record of 23 wins, compared to 14 for Catalans. Until only recently, Leeds had made Emerald Headingley a fortress, winning ten matches over nine years, until the Dragons finally won in 2016. That win for the French outfit is one of Catalans’ six regular season wins in their last ten league meetings with the Rhinos.
High scoring matches against Salford, Castleford and Leigh recently have propelled Leeds from being the league’s lowest scorers to now sit third, above the likes of St Helens and Wigan. Only Warrington have scored more tries than Catalans this season, who have had some big wins of their own (particularly against Huddersfield in round 12). Leeds and Catalans also come close in metres made too. Only 140 metres separate the two (Catalans making the most) while the two also come close in tackles made too (Leeds have made 4151 while Catalans have made 4208).
Particularly for Leeds, their total tackles are near the bottom when compared with the league, with only Hull KR, St Helens and Hull FC making less (although Hull FC have played a game less than Leeds while Hull KR have played two games less). When those numbers are compared against the number of tackles missed though, Catalans rank the lowest out of any team in the league with 294 missed, meaning they are efficient in defence. That is backed up by the fact they have made only 130 errors (the lowest in the league this season).
Catalan’s Top Performers
8 Tries (10th in SL)
16 Try Assists (2nd in SL)
56 Goals (1st in SL)
417 Tackles (8th in SL)
41 Tackle Busts (13th in SL)
Key Head to Head
This Friday’s clash sees two veteran of Super League and England internationals go head to head at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
A recent feature in Shaun Wane’s England squad again shows that Sam Tomkins is continuing to operate at his own high standards. Especially in the last two seasons, with the addition of James Maloney and Josh Drinkwater’s return too, he has helped the revival of the Dragons to sit as a team to be fear and was one of the standout players in the 2020 play off match against the Rhinos. With the exception of Drinkwater, Tomkins is one of Steve McNamara’s main weapons in attack, as he has assisted 12 tries so far this season (third most in SL) and scored three of his own. Interchangeable with youngster Arthur Mourgue or equally as comfortable at half back, Tomkins will be a major threat for Richard Agar’s side and definitely one to watch out for as he will be the most experienced player in the Dragons’ squad.
Myler made his return against the Dragons last week after missing the last two matches against Leigh and Warrington through injury. Against the Red Devils, he put in his best performance of the season with over 140 metres made, two tries, two try assists and eight tackle busts. That performance came off the back of a top performance against Castleford too, where he was a try scorer and set up four more. So far in 2021, like Tomkins, Myler is Leeds’ leading assist maker (sitting ninth in the League with eight just ahead of Tom Briscoe) and having played at the Stade Gilbert Brutus earlier in his career, he knows what it takes to win in the South of France.
Stats Standout from Round 14: Catalans Dragons
A try and three goals at Emerald Headingley was only taste of what Catalans’ young full back/half back Arthur Mourgue can do as he continues to rip up Super League.
In the absence of Josh Drinkwater for the Round 14 match, Mourgue was named alongside NRL veteran James Maloney and the two combined well, leading the Dragons around the field as well as setting up and scoring tries. Mourgue’s opening try for the French outfit advertised his electric speed and ability to break out of tackles on his way to the line for his fourth try of the season and he also stepped up to take over kicking duties in the second half to take his personal points tally to 10 for the match.
Only Tom Davies and Konrad Hurrell beat the youngster in metres made during the game and he also added eight tackle busts (the most in the match) too. At only 22-years-old, he has impressed most neutrals so far in 2021 and, with Maloney serving a one match ban, Mourgue will be one player Leeds need to restrict.
Stats Standout from Round 14: Leeds Rhinos
Against the Dragons last time out, one of Leeds’ top performers was centre Konrad Hurrell. For the first half, he dominated his opposite number Samisoni Langi, starting in the first set when he busted through Langi’s tackle to make a short break. Over the course of 80 minutes, the Tongan international made his highest number of metres this season and also matched his highest number of carries which he set in his first appearance of the season against Hull KR. He also made three offloads to move onto 14 for the season (17th most in SL) and also topped Leeds’ stats charts for tackle busts (only Mourgue made two more than him).
Leeds Rhinos utility Liam Sutcliffe can make his 200th career appearance against the Dragons tonight. Since debuting in 2013, Sutcliffe has played 192 times for the Rhinos over the last eight years. He has also played four games for Bradford on loan in 2014, one game for Featherstone on dual registration in 2020 and has represented both England and England Knights once.