Catalans 4-11 Harlequins

A lightning start from Harlequins proved to be enough in a drab encounter against Catalans.

Rob Powell, the youngest coach in Super League, celebrated his first game in charge with victory, but on this showing, both teams are in for a long season.

Harlequins couldn’t have wished for a better start, when a superb offload in midfield led to a quick break by the lively Luke Gale, and his audacious dummy sold Clint Greenshields and the ex-Doncaster man crossed for the opening try.

Moments later, a towering kick by Chad Randall, shifted to scrum half this season, was claimed by Luke Dorn, who rose highest above Greenshields to claim the ball.

Dorn then fed Gale from the floor, and after investigation by the video referee, the try was given, Gale goaled, and with six minutes gone, Quins led 10-0.

The Londoners had their tails up and they were damaging the Catalans defence, so much so that Seitamata Sa was forced off injured after trying to take down Quins prop Oliver Wilkes.

Unfortunately, the lengthy delay while Sa was treated knocked all the stuffing out the game.

Harlequins were moving around the park with ease, and Gale and Randall’s kicking pegged the Dragons back for good periods.

The game moved in to the second half without Quins really taking advantage of their superiority, seemingly happy to merely keep their French opponents at arms length.

Shortly after the hour, Gale took his and his team’s tally to 11 as the crowd waited for a response from Catalans that ultimately never came.

With ten minutes to go, the Dragons finally started to chance their arm, but Sebastien Raguin threw the ball out of play, before Damien Blanch failed to gather a kick and chase.

Winger Blanch did grab a debut try late on, crossing after a smart offload from Ben Farrar, but it was too little, too late.

Catalans: Greenshields, Blanch, Farrar, Sa, Stacul, Gigot, Dureau, Ferriol, Gossard, Paea, Baile, Raguin, Mounis. Subs: Casty, Henderson, Fakir, Menzies.

Tries: Blanch 78

Harlequins: Dorn, O’Callaghan, Clubb, Howell, Melling, Gale, Randall, Ward, Ellis, Wilkes, Burnett, Bailey, Purdham. Subs: Bryan, Ambler, Krasniqi, Koupartisas.

Tries: Gale 3, 5
Goals: Gale 5
Drop Goals: Gale 62

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