Match Report – Catalans Dragons 2-10 Leigh Leopards

Betfred Super League Round 14

Stade Gilbert Brutus; Saturday 15 June 2024 (5:30pm GMT)

Catalans Dragons 2-10 Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards produced an outstanding team display to earn their first Super League double over the Dragons in Perpignan.

An estimated 1,800 Leopards supporters made the trip to the South of France to make the Stade Gilbert Brutus sound like a home game and they were rewarded with a display full of grit, tenacity and smartness.

The outstanding Tom Amone scored the game’s only try to cap a memorable individual performance. The Leopards kept last season’s beaten grand finalists to a single penalty goal, just as they had in their 30-2 victory over the Dragons at the Leopards Den.

Gareth O’Brien, back after a seven-match injury absence, produced three crucial defensive contributions that typified his team’s residence while Kai O’Donnell was another stand-out in a magnificent Leopards pack.

“I’m proud of the fans,” said head coach Adrian Lam afterwards. “They follow us everywhere we go. We wanted to play them back with a tough performance. We are taking things one step at a time but it was nice to get a tough win here.

“We are at the halfway point of the season and every game is important. There is a lot of hard work to do and we started today.

“When you defend like that you give yourselves a chance.

“Tom Amone is the best prop in the Super League and tonight he played big minutes in hot conditions.”

After a minute’s applause rang out around the stadium in tribute to the late Rob Burrow CBE, Leopards almost had the perfect start as O’Donnell went over from an aerial challenge following Umyla Hanley’s kick. But video referee Liam Rush agreed with the on-field call of no try and ruled Owen Trout had knocked the ball forward in mid-air.

Arthur Romano then knocked on over the Leopards line following an Arthur Mourgue kick early in the tackle count- a huge let-off for the Leopards.

Mourgue kicked the Dragons in front with a 17th minute penalty after a late tackle by O’Donnell and the signs were already there that such an attritional game was likely to have a scarcity of points.

Leopards levelled just before the half hour mark when Matt Moylan kicked a penalty after Michael McIlorum went high on the charging Amone.

And after O’Brien’s kick Josh Charnley and Ricky Leutele cleverly combined to force a goal line drop-out from Mourgue, setting up the position for another attack.

Amone made the Dragons pay, bursting onto Brad Dwyer’s pass and taking three defenders over the line for a fine prop forward’s try, converted by Moylan.

Just before half-time O’Brien made a brilliant try-saving tackle to deny Romain Navarrete close to the line after the Dragons had also forced a goal line drop out.

O’Brien repeated his heroics with an equally crucial tackle on Cesar Rouge as Dragons, facing the prospect of a fifth defeat in six games after topping the table earlier in the season, re-started strongly.

But as the Leopards attacked the end populated by their army of supporters, Lachlan Lam almost created what would have been a deserved try for the non-stop O’Donnell- only for McIlorum to come up with a last gasp tackle that dislodged the ball from his grasp.

When Lam was obstructed by Bayley Sironen after kicking through, Moylan shrewdly took the opportunity to give his side an eight-point cushion with the resulting angled penalty on 54 minutes.

There the score stayed, as Leopards at one stage successfully defended three successive sets. Finally Arthur Romano tried to cross out on the left with four minutes remaining but lost possession in a three-man tackle, O’Brien making the crucial contribution.

A great win, Leopards’ third away from home this season, and one that everyone fortunate enough to be there will remember for a long, long time.

Leopards are next in action next Friday when they travel to play Leeds Rhinos at AMT Headingley (8pm).

Dragons

1 Arthur Mourgue; 2 Tom Davies, 21 Matt Ikuvalu, 3 Arthur Romano, 24 Tom Johnstone; 17 Cesar Rouge, 7 Theo Fages; 23 Jordan Dezaria, 9 Micky McIlorum, 10 Julian Bousquet, 15 Bayley Sironen, 12 Paul Seguier, 13 Ben Garcia (capt)

Bench:

6 Jayden Nikorima, 14 Alex Da Costa, 16 Romain Navarrete, 20 Chris Satae. 18th player: Franck Maria (not used)

Goal: Mourgue 1/ 1

Leopards

6 Matt Moylan; 24 Umyla Hanley, 3 Zak Hardaker, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Josh Charnley; 1 Gareth O’Brien, 7 Lachlan Lam; 8 Tom Amone, 9 Edwin Ipape, 17 Owen Trout, 11 Kai O’Donnell, 16 Frankie Halton, 12 Jack Hughes (capt)

Bench:

33 Brad Dwyer, 15 Matt Davis, 19 Ed Chamberlain, 14 Dan Norman. 18th player: 34 Darnell McIntosh (not used)

Try: Amone (33)

Goals: Moylan 3/ 3

Scoring sequence: 2-0, 2-2, 2-8 (ht) 2-10

Penalty count: 6-5

Attendance: 9,500

Referee: Jack Smith; Touch judges: Q Boissonnade & N Horton; Reserve Referee: F Figueras; Match Commissioner: V Jenkins; Timekeeper: P Jenkins; Video Referee: Liam Rush

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
WhatsApp
Email
Telegram
Shopping Cart

edit your membership

cancel your membership

REnew your 2023 annual membership

SIGN UP FOR NEW 2024 MEMBERSHIP