Super League Preview: Catalan v Leeds

Catalan became the first French side ever to sit at the top of the Super League table, albeit briefly, on Thursday night after their win over London.

Leeds, meanwhile, were denied victory at the death against local rivals Bradford, who fought back to claim an 18-18 draw at Headingley.

The Rhinos now face a testing trip to Perpignan to play the Dragons in front of the SKY TV cameras on Monday night.

Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous welcomes back Greg Mounis, Jamal Fakir and Damien Blanch, who all sat out on Thursday night, but they remain without long-term injury victims Scott Dureau and Brent Webb.

Tongan prop Lopini Paea features in the 19-man squad for the first time this season, having recovered from knee surgery.

Frayssinous is yet to lose a home game in charge of the Dragons, who last tasted defeat at home against the Rhinos in their play-off encounter last September.

Catalan 19-man squad: Blanch, Pryce, Taia, Bosc, Elima, Henderson, Casty, Menzies, Anderson, Mounis, Pelissier, Millard, Pala, Simon, Fakir, Paea, Baitieri, Vaccari, Escare.

Leeds 19-man squad: Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Singleton, Vickery.

Prediction: Catalan are a tough proposition at home, while Leeds won’t want to fall too far behind the leading pack – away win.

Stats:

Leeds’ Kevin Sinfield has scored points in all 17 of the Rhinos’ meetings with the Dragons since 2006.

Last 10 meetings:

Catalan Dragons 20, Leeds 27 (SLPSF, 21/9/12)
Catalan Dragons 38, Leeds 34 (SLR25, 18/8/12)
Leeds 34, Catalan Dragons 18 (SLR12, 20/4/12)
Catalan Dragons 38, Leeds 18 (SLR21, 10/7/11)
Leeds 30, Catalan Dragons 6 (SLR14, 13/5/11)
Leeds 52, Catalan Dragons 6 (SLR26, 20/8/10)
Catalan Dragons 24, Leeds 34 (SLR10, 5/4/10) (at Stade Aime Giral)
Leeds 27, Catalan Dragons 20 (SLQSF, 2/10/09)
Catalan Dragons 32, Leeds 30 (SLR15, 6/6/09)
Catalan Dragons 16, Leeds 36 (SLR12, 3/5/09) (at Murrayfield, Edinburgh)

Super League summary:

Catalan Dragons won 4
Leeds won 13 (includes wins in 2009 & 2012 play-offs)
Catalan Dragons highest score: 38-18 (H, 2011); 38-34 (H, 2012) (Widest margin: 38-18, H, 2011)
Leeds highest score: 60-12 (H, 2006) (Widest margin: 58-10, A, 2006; 60-12, H, 2006)

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