Stats Pack: Catalans Dragons

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 24/02/2022 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 3 - Leeds Rhinos v Catalans Dragons - Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England - Jarrod O'Connor is tackled by Samisoni Langi, Matt Whitley & Benjamin Garcia.

Leeds Rhinos make their second trip to France in two weeks this Saturday as they prepare to take on a Catalans Dragons side who got back to winning ways against Huddersfield Giants on home soil last time out.

Before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Rohan Smith and Steve McNamara’s sides.

*Stats courtesy of OPTA


2022 Breakdown

The Rhinos are aiming for their first win in Perpignan since 2017 on Saturday. Out of their 23 wins over the Dragons in the Super League era, only seven have come on the road including a 58-10 win in 2006, which is Leeds’ largest result in the South of France to date. Catalans have claimed the last three wins (excluding 2020 due to the COVID pandemic), plus Steve McNamara’s men also have the upper hand in 2022, beating Leeds 10-4 at Headingley in round three.

Leeds’ revival under Rohan Smith has seen the club move up the points scoring table. Both the Rhinos and the Dragons have scored the same amount of points this season (405), with Leeds moving ahead of Catalans in terms of tries scored with 71 compared to 69.

Although the Dragons may not be among the top scorers, the French side have made up for it in their defence, allowing only 317 points this year. That is second to St Helens, who have conceded the least. Catalans also have a good record in terms of tries conceded too, averaging only 2.8 against per game.

The Rhinos have also moved back into the top attacking metrics in the league. Their offload game is ranked at fourth behind Warrington and both Hull sides, while in line break and tackle breaks, thanks to the work of Ash Handley, David Fusitu’a, Liam Sutcliffe and more, Smith’s side rank fifth and third respectively. The Dragons on the other hand rank last in offloads and tackle breaks, and ninth in line breaks.

In defence, both sides are relatively clean. The Rhinos have made the fourth least tackles in the league, compared to Catalans who have made the fourth most, while the Leeds side also miss only 26.7 tackles on average, giving them a tackle efficiency of 89%. Catalans’ more missed tackles see them drop to seventh among their Super League opposition with a 88.4% rating.


Catalans’ Top Performers

Tries

Fouad Yaha

10 tries (15th in SL)

Goals

Josh Drinkwater

14 try assists (9th in SL)

Tackles

Ben Garcia

608 tackles (10th in SL)

Metres

Tom Davies

2255 metres (7th in SL)

Errors

Mathieu Laguerre

18 errors (18th in SL)


Head to head

Two internationals go head to head in an exciting matchup this weekend.

Now in his second season under Steve McNamara, New Zealand international Dean Whare recovered from a torn pectoral muscle earlier in the year and is aiming to finish 2022 on a high. A member of the Dragons side that lost out on Grand Final glory last year, like many in the Catalans’ squad he is out of revenge in 2022 and was part of the side that went unbeaten from round two to round six.

After suffering his muscle injury against Hull KR, he made a try scoring return as the Dragons downed St Helens 20-18 on home turf. Missing Magic Weekend, he took his number of appearances in 2022 to eight in last week’s win over Huddersfield Giants.

Newman marked his return to the Leeds side with an outstanding showing against Wigan. Despite only playing four games this season mostly due to injury, as well as suspension, the centre has been electric when he has been on the field with three tries so far, including one against the Warriors.

He hasn’t been shy to record some big statistics as well, notably in tackle busts, where he has twenty one. Blake Austin in in fifth place at the moment with 34 so Newman has him in his sights. The centre has made 371 gained metres from on 37 carries (this works out as 10 metres per carry). If that wasn’t enough, he also has four clean breaks and six offloads.


Stats Standout from Round 20: Catalans Dragons

In the Dragons’ one point win over Huddersfield Giants in Perpignan, Joe Chan continued to show that he is one of the brightest talents coming through the Dragons’ system with another top outing.

Amongst a generally experienced forward pack, the second rower didn’t look out of place and terrorised his opposite number Josh Jones. Playing the full eighty, he made the most metres overall by a Catalans player, never mind just in the forwards, and also made the most post contact metres (he finished with 67).

Sam Kasiano and Mickael Goudemand were the only players that made more carries than the 19-year old, plus he also finished with 24 tackles. Leeds will be familiar with Chan’s scoring capabilities though as he scored his first of five tries this season at Headingley earlier in the season.


Stats Standout from Round 20: Leeds Rhinos

While there were plenty of top performers in Leeds’ recent win over Wigan, youngster Jarrod O’Connor stood out in his best statistical performance of the season so far.

Playing 47 minutes on the field, the hooker made some insightful breaks, recording one line break, two line break assists and two tackle break, plus he also set up Rhyse Martin and Cameron Smith for their tries in the first half. All this came despite him only making seven carries himself.

In defence, his tackle count was among Leeds’ top five players and level with Bodene Thompson on 29 (James Bentley led the line with 36 tackles). Against the Dragons this week, he will certainly be a youngster to watch for the Rhinos.


Milestones

Rhyse Martin

Second rower Rhyse Martin needs eight points to reach 500 Super League points.

The Papua New Guinean has amassed 492 points during his four seasons in blue and amber and so far this season, he has 132 (four tries and 58 goals).


Team News


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