Catalans 10-20 Leeds: Liam Sutcliffe hat-trick secures semi-final spot for Rhinos

Josh McAllister
Leeds Rhinos Liam Sutcliffe

Leeds secured a spot in the Super League semi-finals thanks to a hat-trick from outgoing Liam Sutcliffe for a 20-10 victory over Catalans at Stade Brutus. 

Rohan Smith’s side will face either St Helens or Wigan in next week’s semi-finals, with just 80 minutes separating them from Old Trafford.

The defeat sees Catalans’ season come to an end after an indisciplined performance at home which included three yellow cards and a red.

Match report

Sam Tomkins returned for the Dragons at full-back, while Josh Drinkwater missed out. Instead, Mitchell Pearce partnered Tyrone May in the halves. Mike McMeeken also made his return from injury and was named in the starting back-row. 

For the visitors, Jarrod O’Connor started at hooker, with captain Kruise Leeming on the bench. It meant there was no place for in-form Brad Dwyer in the 17. 

Half-back Aidan Sezer thought he had opened the scoring on 12 minutes on his 200th career appearance, only for his attempt to be ruled out for double movement by the video referee.

Mitchell Pearce was sent to the sin-bin on 23 minutes after a coming together between the two sides.

The first points of the tie came from the boot of Tomkins on 26 minutes, giving the hosts a 2-0 advantage. 

Super League young player of the year nominee Morgan Gannon was forced from the field with a head knock just moments later following a collision with Sam Kasiano. 

England full-back Tomkins doubled the lead with another converted penalty on 30 minutes for offside.

Leeds crossed for the first try on 33 minutes through Hull-bound Sutcliffe, his first of the evening. The centre making a break, finding Richie Myler before getting the ball back again for his eighth try of the season. Zak Hardaker converting to give his side a 6-4 lead.

Sutcliffe made it a brace just two minutes before the break, pouncing on a loose ball from a kick to extend his side’s lead. 

Catalans’ Joe Chan was ruled out for the remainder of the game due to a head knock. 

HT: Catalans 4-12 Leeds

Catalans hit back right at the start of the second half through off-contract Dean Whare. The centre collecting a kick from Pearce to score his second try of the season. 

England World Cup hopeful Michael McIlorum was the next Catalans player sent to the sin-bin on 59 minutes for a high tackle on James Bentley. 

Sutcliffe completed his hat-trick on 61 minutes. The 27-year-old collecting a kick from Sezer to give his side some breathing room with a 18-10 score. 

Gil Dudson’s Catalans career came to a premature end, being sent off with a red card on 74 minutes, before Pearce was sent for 10 once again in the latter stages of the game which ended in defeat for Steve McNamara’s Dragons.

FT: Catalans 10-20 Leeds

Catalans: Tomkins, Davies, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Pearce, May, Seguier, McIlorum, Napa, Chan, McMeeken, Garcia. Bench: Dudson, Goudemand, Mourgue, Kasiano.

Tries: Whare

Goals: Tomkins 3/3

Leeds: Myler, Briscoe, Hardaker, Sutcliffe, Tindall, Austin, Sezer, Oledzki, O’Connor, Prior, Bentley, Gannon, Smith. Bench: Leeming, Donaldson, Tetevano, Walters. 

Tries: Sutcliffe (3)

Goals: Hardaker 3/3

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