Harlequins 30-37 Catalan

Scott Dureau scored an impressive 19 points as the Catalan Dragons beat Harlequins, to make it four straight league wins.

Harlequins, trailing for most of the match and now six games without a win, drew themselves level with just over 10 minutes remaining before a late Cyril Stacul try and Dureau conversion, sealed victory for the French side.

The Dragons opened the scoring through Scott Dureau following a good team move. Great link up play from Steve Menzies set up Ben Farrar who, just before being tackled passed the ball to Dureau to touch down under the posts and duely converted the 2 points himself.

Harlequins could have scored their first try after good work from Mike Burnett who shrugged off a couple of tackles but was finally stopped inches from the try line.

However moments later the Quins pulled themselves level through Jamie O’Callaghan after a pass out to the right wing from Andy Ellis, enabled O’Callaghan to touch down in the corner and Gale stepped up to convert through the posts.

A Harlequins error led to the Dragons regaining the lead. They gave away possession cheaply less than 10 metres from the try line and Scott Dureau picked up the ball before running the whole length of the pitch unchallenged to touch down, although his resulting conversion went just wide.

Within minutes the Dragons extended their lead and yet again the Quins will be disappointed with how they defended. Ben Farrar shrugged off two tackles before off-loading the ball to replacement Pelissier who had the easiest of tasks of touching down underneath the posts. Dureau made no mistake with his conversion this time, striking the ball between the posts with ease.

Before half time the Dragons piled on the misery for the lacklustre Quins, who were again breached by poor defending. This time it was Jason Baitieri who ghosted through Harlequins as though they weren’t there and Dureau made it three conversions out of four with the Dragons now leading 22-6.

Superb play by Harlequins early in the second half gave them a glimmer of hope. Tony Clubb did superb in possession, beating a couple of players and passing to Gale who gratefully scored a try and the resulting conversion.

However minutes later Stacul scored another try for the Dragons to strengthen their lead again to 28-12.

Andy Ellis showed there was still hope for the Quins when he muscled through a number of Dragons defenders to just get the ball over the line for another four points. Luke Gale kept up his impressive conversions with another two points.

Karl Pryce showed tremendous effort, powering through at least five Dragons players before scoring Quins’ fourth try of the match and reduced the score to 24-28 with Gale’s. In the aftermath of the try, Scott Dureau was sin binned.

With the Dragons down to 12 men, the Quins’ resilience told when a well worked move meant Chad Randall scored his first try of the game and Gale’s resulting conversion meant the home team took the lead for the first time in the match.

Although another Quins error let the Dragons back in to the match. A high tackle was punished by the referee and Mounis converted the penalty to draw the game level at 30 all.

Scott Dureau, returning from the sin bin, edged the Dragons back in front 31-30 with a well taken drop goal before a late try from Stacul sealed the points.

Harlequins: Dorn, Melling, Howell, Clubb, O’Callaghan, Gale, Randall, Ambler, Ellis, Ward, Burnett, Bailey, Wilkes. SUBS: Kouparitsas, Bryan, Williams, Pryce
Tries: Jamie O’Callaghan (22), Luke Gale (44), Andrew Ellis (58), Karl Pryce (62), Chad Randall (68)    
Goals: Luke Gale (22, 44, 58, 62, 68)

Catalan: Stacul, Blanch, Baile, Sa, Vaccari, Farrar, Dureau, Ferriol, Henderson, Casty, Raguin, Menzies, Mounis. SUBS: Martins, Simon, Baitieri, Pelissier.
Tries: Scott Dureau (13, 26), Eloi Pelissier (28), Jason Baitieri (38), Cyril Stacul (54, 79)
Goals: Scott Dureau (13, 28, 38, 54, 79), Greg Mounis (72)
Drop Goals: Scott Dureau

Attendance: 2069

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