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As a nation mourned the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, the Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos donned their black armbands, observed a minute’s silence, and took to the field in a subdued south of France for the first of the 2022 Super League playoff series games as fourth played fifth.

The Dragons were back at full strength after resting their entire squad last weekend against Wigan, and notably had Sam Tomkins back in their side at full back, their talisman returning. Leeds were without the suspended Rhyse Martin and Harry Newman wasn´t fit enough to make the seventeen, despite being named in the squad of twenty-one.

The Dragons were the clear favourites with the bookies but with the Rhinos only given an eight point start on the handicap coupon they thought it would be closer than many pundits as well as the more pessimistic Rhinos fans.

It was the third meeting between the two sides in France in the last six weeks with honours shared after the Rhinos clinched a Golden Point win in late July, the Dragons winning by 32-18 just twelve days ago.

Leeds went close on four minutes when Richie Myler broke through the Dragons defensive line and went to within thirty before putting in a cross-field kick for Zak Hardaker to chase. The Rhinos full back collected the ball ten out from the line but lost it under the tackle.

Aidan Sezer had a try ruled out on twelve minutes for a double movement despite the replays appearing to show momentum rather than any ball promotion by the Rhinos scrum half.

The opening quarter of an hour had been all Rhinos as they camped in the Dragons twenty but as the half wore on it was the home side who started to get some possession and position. But on twenty-three Mitchell Pearce was sin-binned for running in and escalating a confrontation. It was turning into a tasty encounter.

On twenty-five Sam Tomkins took advantage of a penalty for offside to kick a thirty-metre goal and open the games scoring. On the first play from the restart Morgan Gannon took a heavy hit and was taken from the field for a head impact assessment. Within minutes Joe Chan joined him after suffering friendly fire, the game was proving to be brutal.

On the half hour the Rhinos were again caught offside, and Tomkins ran down the clock as he added a second penalty goal, this one from forty metres, for a 4-0 lead.

On thirty-three the Rhinos were level with Liam Sutcliffe and Myler combining with a neat one-two over forty metres after Zane Tetevano did the earlier work to break down the Dragons defence. Zak Hardaker added the conversion from in front of the uprights for a 6-4 lead.

With a minute left on the clock the Rhinos got their second, again through Sutcliffe, as the Leeds centre collected a Myler cross field kick after Dean Whare was unable to gather. Hardaker was again accurate with the boot and the Rhinos took a deserved 12-4 lead into the sheds.

Just a minute of the second half had elapsed when Whare jumped to beat Sezer and catch a Pearce pinpoint kick and dot the ball down over the line after taking a single step. Tomkins added the conversion, and the Rhinos lead was cut to just two points.

A high tackle from Michael McIlorum on James Bentley saw the Dragons man sent to the Sin Bin and sitting out the next ten minutes, the Rhinos needed to take advantage and extend their lead as just two points separated the sides as the game moved into the last twenty.

On sixty-one Sutcliffe completed his hat-trick as he collected a Sezer cross field kick, with Whare providing minimal opposition, to dot the ball down over the line. Hardaker was again on target with the boot to put the Rhinos back into an eight-point lead.

Tomkins spilled a kick on sixty-eight but the Dragons defence held firm as they repelled their line but the clock was now becoming the home sides most dangerous enemy.

On seventy-four minutes Gil Dudson headbutted Aidan Sezer and was shown the red card by referee Child. The Dragons frustration and ill-discipline had cost them the game. The Catalans were totally rattled, their season was ending in disgrace.

Pearce was sin-binned for a second time on seventy-eight for shoulder charge, and with just a minute remaining on the clock Hardaker kicked the penalty goal for 20-10 to the Rhinos. The boo´s rang round the Stade Gilbert Brutus, their side well beaten as they self-destructed.

The Rhinos won against the odds as they played close on the perfect game to frustrate the Dragons and make progress into the semi-finals, to take on either Wigan or St Helens next weekend. Rohan Smith has been a breath of fresh air, are the Rhinos are certainly a side in the ascendancy after being real relegation prospects a few weeks into the season.

Catalans Dragons: Tomkins (3G), Yaha, Langi, Whare (T), Davies, May, Pearce (SB on 23 & 78), Seguier, McIlorum (SB on 59), Napa, McMeeken, Chan J, Garcia.  Subs: Mourgue, Goudemand, Dudson (SO on 74), Kasiano. 

Leeds Rhinos: Myler, Tindall, Sutcliffe (3T), Hardaker (4G), Briscoe, Sezer, Austin, Oledzki, O´Connor, Prior, Gannon, Bentley, Smith. Subs: Walters, Leeming, Tetevano, Donaldson.

Half-Time: 4-12.  

Full-Time: 10-20.

Score Progression: (SB), 2-0, 4-0, 4-4, 4-6, 4-10, 4-12 : HT : 8-12, 10-12, (SB),  10-16, 10-18, (SO), (SB), 10-20 : FT.

Lead Exchanges: Catalans – Leeds.

Referee: James Child.  




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 9th Sep 2022 10:09 PM | Views : 4928 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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RLFANS Match Centre

TABLES:
Matches on TV
Sat 15th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
14:30
England-Samoa
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
Australia-Fiji
Sun 16th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
17:00
Jamaica-Ireland
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
New Zealand-Lebanon
WC2022 RND: 1
14:30
Scotland-Italy
Mon 17th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
France-Greece
Tue 18th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
Tonga-Papua NG
Wed 19th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
WALES-Cook Islands
Fri 21st Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
19:30
Australia-Scotland
Sat 22nd Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
14:30
Fiji-Italy
WC2022 RND: 2
17:00
England-France
WC2022 RND: 2
19:30
New Zealand-Jamaica
Sun 23rd Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
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WC2022 RND: 2
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France-Greece
Mon 24th Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
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Tue 25th Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
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Papua NG-Cook Islands
Fri 28th Oct
WC2022 RND: 3
19:30
New Zealand-Ireland
Sat 29th Oct
WC2022 RND: 3
14:30
England-Greece
WC2022 RND: 3
17:00
Fiji-Scotland
WC2022 RND: 3
19:30
Australia-Italy
Sun 2nd Oct
NRL RND: 29 Penrith28-12Parramatta
L1 RND: 26 Swinton16-10Doncaster
CH RND: 30 Leigh44-12Batley
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 27
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Leigh 27 1306 208 1098 52
Featherstone 27 1058 468 590 47
Halifax 27 837 440 397 40
Barrow 27 759 587 172 37
Batley 27 738 551 187 36
York 27 677 596 81 36
 
Sheffield 27 699 660 39 24
Widnes 27 567 679 -112 24
Bradford 27 521 675 -154 22
Whitehaven 27 488 854 -366 19
LondonB 27 548 740 -192 17
Newcastle 27 559 877 -318 15
Dewsbury 27 385 964 -579 7
Workington 27 296 1139 -843 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 20
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Keighley 18 843 154 689 36
Crusaders 18 668 332 336 30
Swinton 18 737 281 456 28
Doncaster 18 618 392 226 26
Rochdale 18 646 451 195 24
Hunslet 18 475 462 13 17
 
Oldham 18 535 473 62 15
Midlands 18 458 632 -174 10
LondonS 18 362 705 -343 10
Cornwall 19 274 782 -508 2
West Wales 19 154 1106 -952 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 27
 PLDFADIFFPTS
St.Helens 27 674 374 300 42
Wigan 27 818 483 335 38
Huddersfield 27 613 497 116 35
Catalans 27 539 513 26 32
Leeds 27 577 528 49 29
Salford 27 700 602 98 28
 
Castleford 27 544 620 -76 26
Hull KR 27 498 608 -110 24
Hull FC 27 508 675 -167 22
Wakefield 27 497 648 -151 20
Warrington 27 568 664 -96 18
Toulouse 27 421 745 -324 10
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 24
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 23 628 353 275 38
Cronulla 23 535 348 187 34
Melbourne 23 704 388 316 32
NQL Cowboys 23 595 353 242 32
Parramatta 23 586 475 111 30
Sydney 23 611 416 195 28
Souths 23 588 448 140 28
Canberra 23 468 451 17 26
 
Brisbane 23 502 528 -26 26
St.George 23 445 559 -114 22
Manly 23 470 574 -104 18
Canterbury 23 362 555 -193 12
Newcastle 23 356 624 -268 12
NZ Warriors 23 382 673 -291 12
Gold Coast 23 428 634 -206 10
Wests 23 342 623 -281 8
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