Catalans beat Leeds 33-20 in Betfred Super League clash

Josh Drinkwater
Josh Drinkwater

Catalans moved to within one point of the Super League top eight after beating Leeds 33-20.

It was the Dragons' third successive win in all competitions with Josh Drinkwater scoring 12 of the French side's points from four goals and a try.

Leeds, who trailed 16-0 after the first quarter of the game, have now lost their last three league games.

Catalans began the game in red hot form, Sam Moa's offload allowed Greg Bird to break through, draw the full back and send Benjamin Jullien over for the first try of the game. Drinkwater added the goal to give the hosts a 6-0 lead after five minutes.

Benjamin Garcia added a second three minutes later, a repeat set allowed Catalans to pile on the pressure on the Leeds line, Garcia dummying his way over the line following Remi Casty's smart offload. Drinkwater missed the conversion to leave the score 10-0.

Leeds were in disarray, struggling to keep a hold of the ball and offering up field position to the home side who extended their lead in the 18th minute, Michael McIlorum picking up from acting half and darting over from close range. Drinkwater added the conversion as the Catalans lead moved to 16 points.

Moa was sent to the sin-bin for an off-the-ball tackle on Richie Myler in the 25th minute.

Ash Handley scored the try of the game on the half hour, following smart interplay between Ryan Hall and Handley saw the Leeds centre break clear before passing inside to Myler who raced towards the try line and put in a deft grubber for Handley to collect and touch down. Jordan Lilley missed the touchline conversion - hitting the post as the score remained 16-4.

Tony Gigot added a drop goal five minutes before the break crucially giving the Catalans a 13-point lead at the break.

Leeds did start the brighter of the two sides after the interval, a smart pass from Myler three minutes in sent Brett Ferres over on the left edge for the Rhinos' second try of the game. Lilley added the conversion to take the score to 17-10.

Leeds were right back in the game 10 minutes later, Handley sending Hall over to score in the left corner despite the best efforts of Gigot and Jodie Broughton. Lilley's touchline conversion attempt narrowly missed leaving the score 17-14.

Gigot scored a superb solo effort to put further daylight between the sides, stepping inside three Leeds defenders to dance his way to the try line. Drinkwater added the conversion to give the hosts a nine-point advantage heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.

Drinkwater got his name on the try scorers list in the following set, stepping his way to the line after good work by Casty. The Australian converted his own try to give the home side a 29-14 lead.

There was time for Broughton to score seven minutes from time, but Drinkwater missed the goal from the touchline and Brad Dwyer scored a consolation effort in the last minute for Leeds, with Lilley adding the conversion to take the final score 33-20.

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