Catalans Dragons beat Huddersfield Giants 27-10 in Perpignan

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins

Catalans Dragons earned their first win of 2019 with a 27-10 victory over Huddersfield Giants in Perpignan.

Both sides headed into the game on the back of first-game defeats last weekend, Catalans losing 20-4 at Castleford while Huddersfield went down at home, 14-34 to Salford.

Catalans made three changes on the back of that defeat. David Mead was absent with a family issue, while Michael McIlorum and Benjamin Jullien both came in to the starting line-up for Alrix da Costa (dropped to the bench) and Ben Garcia (injury).

Huddersfield made one change to their side, Aaron Murphy coming in with Oliver Roberts dropping to the bench.

The Giants made a superb start to the game. Izaac Farrell took the ball to the line in the sixth minute and delivered a flat pass to the supporting Matt Frawley who raced over to touch down. Farrell added the conversion as Huddersfield led 6-0.

Catalans came back into the game midway through the half, a penalty offering some much needed field position.

Kenny Edwards carried the ball close to the Huddersfield line before a neat grubber from Michael McIlorum saw Brayden Williame touch down. Sam Tomkins levelled the scores with the conversion.

The Dragons hit the front two minutes later, Matt Whitley stealing the ball one on one from Joe Wardle deep in Huddersfield territory. He offloaded to Tony Gigot who in turn found Williame who raced over for his second try of the game.

Tomkins nailed the conversion from close to the touchline to take the score to 12-6.

Tomkins extended the Catalans lead further on the half-hour with a penalty goal - Huddersfield holding Sam Moa down - before slick play down the right edge from Catalans saw Lewis Tierney score in the right corner. Tomkins hit the post with the conversion taking the score to 18-6 at the interval.

Catalans extended their lead to 14 three minutes after the restart, Tomkins adding another penalty following a high tackle on Remi Casty.

Tomkins touched down in the 68th minute when Matty Smith's kick to the right was allowed to bounce by Huddersfield and caused chaos. The ball bounced into the hands of Tomkins who raced around under the posts to score. He converted his own try to take the score to 26-6.

With eight minutes remaining, Roberts chased Frawley's smart grubber and managed to win the race to touch the ball down as Huddersfield rallied, but Darnell McIntosh hit the post with the conversion attempt to leave the score at 26-10.

There was time for a last-second drop goal from Smith to wrap things up.

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