Leeds 32-22 Catalans: Amazing Austin, controversial try & Channel 4 thriller

Drew Darbyshire
Blake Austin Leeds Rhinos SWpix

Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

Leeds came from behind to secure a 32-22 win over Catalans in a thriller at Headingley, with Blake Austin producing a man of the match display.

The Dragons were 22-8 to the good at half-time thanks to first half tries from Tom Davies, Adam Keighran, Mitchell Pearce and Paul Seguier.

Whatever Leeds boss Rohan Smith said in the sheds at half-time certainly worked. The Rhinos five unanswered tries in the second half through Richie Myler, Jarrod O’Connor, Derrell Olpherts, Tom Holroyd and Harry Newman.

It marked an incredible comeback for the Rhinos, orchestrated by man of the match Austin. The hosts finished 32-22 winners in a thriller in front of the Channel 4 cameras.

Here are our five takeaways…

Rampant Rhinos

It was a game of two halves. Yeah, its a cliché but it was.

Leeds were almost trying too hard in the first half. They had plenty of chances to post post points but they shot themselves in the foot a couple of times, which is why Catalans were 22-8 up at the break.

But it was a rampant and clinical second half showing from Smith’s side. Catalans were undefeated heading into this game, but the Rhinos scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to secure the win.

Amazing Austin

What a performance from Austin. It was quite possibly his best game to date in a Rhinos jersey.

He orchestrated everything Leeds did with the ball in the second half. His 40/20 just before Holroyd’s try was a clutch moment and he kept his cool to kick it.

If he can keep up those kind of performances, then the Rhinos will be up there towards the back end of the year.

Controversial try

There was a lot of debate surrounding Mitchell Pearce’s try in the first half.

The decision went up to the video referee and it was a very tough call to make. We don’t see too many of those type of tries.

You can see why it was given, but you could also see why it would be ruled out. Personally, I don’t think it was a try due to double movement, but you can understand why the video referee did award it. It was a tough one.

Thankfully, it wasn’t the sole talking point of why Catalans won or lost.

Catalans blows

The Dragons lost key players Mickael Goudemand and Tyrone May to injury in the game.

Goudemand left the field for a head injury assessment in the first half and didn’t return after failing his HIA, meaning he will be unavailable for next Saturday’s game against Castleford in Perpignan.

Samoa international Tyrone May left the action in the second half with what looked like a knee injury. Let’s hope its not too serious because he has been in great form so far this season.

First defeat of the season for Les Dracs

There were just two Super League teams who had a 100 per cent winning record heading into Round Six.

But following Catalans’ defeat at Leeds, it means Warrington are the only team left who have won all of their games so far.

The Wolves are six wins from six following a stunning start to the season, with Daryl Powell’s side sitting top of the table, two points clear of Catalans.

How it happened

  • 4′ Catalans winger Tom Davies produce an acrobatic finish in the corner to score the game’s first try. Adam Keighran converts. (0-6)
  • 8′ The ball goes wide to Harry Newman who scores out wide for Leeds. (4-6)
  • 13′ Leeds take the lead as Rhyse Martin chases down his own grubber to score in the corner. (8-6)
  • 22′ Keighran goes over for the Dragons but can’t convert his own try. (8-10)
  • 27′ Mitchell Pearce reached over the line for Catalans, with the video referee awarding the try. Keighran converts. (8-16)
  • 34′ Leeds forward Zane Tetevano thought he had scored but it was ruled out by the referee due to a forward pass.
  • 35′ Catalans forward Mickael Goudemand leaves the field for a head injury assessment and doesn’t return.
  • 36′ Leeds’ Martin loses the ball in a carry on his own line and it results in Paul Seguier scoring for the Dragons. Keighran converts. (8-22)
  • HALF TIME: Leeds 8-22 Catalans
  • 46′ Rhinos centre Harry Newman is sent to the sin bin for dissent.
  • 50′ Richie Myler pulls one back for Leeds following a sharp break from Blake Austin. (12-22)
  • 55′ Jarrod O’Connor scoots from dummy half to score for the hosts. (16-22)
  • 60′ Leeds winger Derrell Olpherts, who started the game on the bench, races over after another Austin break. (20-22)
  • 66′ Tom Holroyd puts Leeds in front after a 40/20 from Austin. Aidan Sezer converts. (26-22)
  • 75′ Myler makes a break and supports the supporting Newman who seals the win for Leeds. Martin converts. (32-22)
  • FULL TIME: Leeds 32-22 Catalans

How they lined up

Leeds: Myler; Fusitu’a, Newman, Martin, Macdonald; Austin, Sezer; Holroyd, O’Connor, Walters, McDonnell, Tetevano, Smith. Subs: Johnson, Sangare, Lisone, Olpherts.

Tries: Newman 2, Martin, Myler, O’Connor, Olpherts, Holroyd Goals: Sezer 1, Martin 1

Catalans: Mourgue; Davies, Keighran, Romano, Johnstone; May, Pearce; McMeeken, McIlorum, Bousquet, Whitley, Ma’u, Garcia. Subs: Da Costa, Goudemand, Seguier, Dezaria.

Tries: Davies, Keighran, Pearce, Seguier Goals: Keighran 3

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