Catalans Dragons vs Leigh Leopards, Betfred Super League

Recap

Brave Leigh Leopards Threaten Upset but Fall to Catalans Dragons 14-6

Leigh Leopards displayed immense courage in their battle against Catalans Dragons but ultimately suffered a 14-6 defeat in Perpignan. Despite the loss, the newly-promoted team showcased their mettle and pushed the French side to their limits in a cold and grey encounter at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Leigh Leopards held their own throughout the match and were deserving of their modest 8-0 halftime deficit. Led by the outstanding performance of scrum-half Lachlan Lam, the team came close to defying the odds but lacked the necessary finishing quality to secure victory.

Catalans Dragons faced their fair share of challenges, with injuries to key players and late withdrawals affecting their lineup. Nevertheless, they had enough depth and resilience to weather Leigh’s spirited performance.

The game remained scoreless until the 30th minute when Arthur Mourgue, standing in for the injured Sam Tomkins, kicked a penalty to give Catalans the lead. Five minutes later, Tom Johnstone capitalized on a flowing move to the left and scored the first try of the game, with Mourgue successfully converting to put Catalans 8-0 ahead at halftime.

Leigh fought back early in the second half when Lam caused chaos in Catalans’ defense with a well-placed kick to the line. Joe Wardle pounced on the opportunity and grounded the ball, with Ben Reynolds adding the conversion to bring the visitors within two points.

The Leopards remained resilient and held off Catalans’ attacks for extended periods. However, Mickael Goudemand broke through Leigh’s defense with a powerful 10-meter burst in the 66th minute, scoring a crucial try that Mourgue converted to extend Catalans’ lead to 14-6.

Leigh showed great determination as Catalans relentlessly pressed their line with penalties and prolonged possessions late in the game.

Leigh coach Adrian Lam

“I’m very proud of the team, but I’m very frustrated too because we got ourselves in positions there where we could have won.

“We lacked a bit of game management and that hurt us, but we’re close and, while I thought we deserved to win tonight, we didn’t but that’s part of the growth within our group.

“We’ve just got to look after ourselves and stay within the bubble. We had eight players making their debut last week, so we’re going to be a bit rusty for the first part of the season.

“It’s hard to see if there is any success there in front of us when we’re emotionally caught up in the now and the moment of loss, but we’re working hard to turn the corner soon and we’ve just got to stick together.”

Catalan coach Steve McNamara

“We’ve had the worst week ever with sickness and infections from injuries sustained in our first game at Wakefield.

“We’ve lost a number of players, so to do that tonight against a very good Leigh side was incredible.

“I’m very happy with that result, we’ve had a very difficult week. We lost Manu Ma’u because his father has sadly died and he has returned to New Zealand to be with his family.

“Seven players had infections this week following injuries sustained on the pitch at Wakefield in round one. We had lots of sickness and this morning Matt Whitley picked up a shoulder injury and Adam Keighran had to pull out.

“So with the situation at the moment that is a very good win for us. Our defence was good today, but our attack was horrible, but in our current state I can’t complain.

“It’s been the most difficult week for this club for a long time and I’m proud of the way the players have responded.”

 

Venue

Stade Gilbert Brutus

Details

Date Time League
February 25, 2023 6:00 pm Super League

Video

Results

TeamPointsOutcome
Catalans Dragons14Win
Leigh Leopards6Loss
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