Leeds 4-10 Catalans: Dragons win scrappy encounter- talking points

Steven Hughes
Leeds v Catalans

Catalans have won their second straight match after a hard-fought 10-4 victory over Leeds at Headingley.

The match was delayed for a long time early on after an injury to Alex Mellor. It took both sides a while to get going after that.

Blake Austin’s try put Leeds in front, but tries either side of the break from Fouad Yaha and Joe Chan turned the game in the Dragons’ favour.

Meanwhile, Leeds fell to a third straight defeat to start the season.

Match Report

Leeds were dealt an early blow, as Alex Mellor went down for around 10 minutes having treatment on his neck. He was then stretchered from the field to a standing ovation from the Headingley faithful. It was later revealed he went straight to hospital for scans.

It took a bit of time for both teams to get back into their games. Eventually, it was Leeds who took the lead just past the 20 minute mark.

Blake Austin took in a pass from Aidan Sezer, juggled the ball and went to ground. But he wasn’t tackled, and he was able to stretch and get the ball over the line before Mitchell Pearce could get to him. Sezer’s conversion attempt hit the post, meaning Leeds’ lead stood at four points.

Just a couple of minutes later, Catalans were able to hit back. Fouad Yaha got the ball out wide, and was able to work his way to the try-line. Sam Tomkins hit the post with the conversion attempt, meaning the scores stayed level.

Leeds huffed and puffed, but could not break the Dragons down, and fell to a third straight defeat. They travel to Wakefield Trinity next Thursday.

As for Catalans, they travel to Warrington next Friday.

HT- Leeds 4-4 Catalans

The first try of the second half felt like it was going to be crucial, and it was Catalans who got it 10 minutes in. Sam Kasiano put Joe Chan through a gap to score. With Sam Tomkins off the pitch, Josh Drinkwater took the conversion, and scored to put the Dragons ahead by six.

The Dragons almost extended that lead soon after, but Yaha’s second try was disallowed after Liam Tindall was judged to have been tackled without the ball by Samisoni Langi in the build up.

Catalans made life hard for themselves with 15 minutes to go, as Mitchell Pearce found himself in the sin bin after a high tackle on Tindall.

Team News

Leeds: Walker, Tindall, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Handley, Austin, Sezer, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Gannon, Tetevano. Subs: Dwyer, Smith, Thomspon, O’Connor.

T: Austin

G: Sezer 0/1

Catalans: Tomkins, Davies, Whare, Langi, Yaha, Pearce, Drinkwater, Dezaria, McIlorum, McMeeken, Whitley, Jullien, Garcia. Subs: Seguier, May, Chan, Kasiano.

T: Yaha, Chan

G: Tomkins 0/1, Drinkwater 1/1

Talking Points

Alex Mellor injury

The match was held up for 10 minutes after just two minutes played due to an injury for Alex Mellor. He ended up in an awkward position whilst trying to tackle, and needed treatment on his neck before being taken off. Hopefully it is not too serious.

Catalans set for a spell without Tomkins?

The Dragons lost Sam Tomkins early in the second half with a knee injury and did not come back out. Given the players Catalans already have out, to lose the reigning Man of Steel for a period of time could be a huge blow.

Catalans get the job done

It may not have been pretty in large periods, but Catalans will be happy that they have got the job done again. Like last week, they showed that they can win, even when they are not quite firing on all cylinders.

Read More: Wigan 22-12 Huddersfield: Warriors win three from three under Matt Peet – talking points