Dragons buck Broncos in Manchester
Catalan Dragons survived a second half fightback from London Broncos to clinch a 42-18 victory in the first match of day two of Super League Magic Weekend at Etihad Stadium. LS Sport’s Patrick Spicer Ward was in Manchester…
Large numbers of Catalan fans made the trip to North West, and doused the pale blue seats in the stadium with red and yellow flags, with the stadium filling up as throughout the game.
The team from southern France opened the scoring through Lopini Paea against the run of play, after the Broncos had been denied two tries because of an offside and a knock on.
Minutes later, stand – off Leon Pryce danced through a static defence, and the resultant conversion put Dragons 12-0 ahead. English team struggle to carve out any clear cut chances despite the territory they enjoyed early on, with Kieran Dixon impressing down the left wing.
Rob Powell’s Broncos side showed much more spirit in the second half
Dragons prop Remi Castry crashed over through a lackluster Broncos defence and, before Leon Pryce dummied and jinked his way across for his second of the afternoon, leaving the score at 24-0 to Catalans at the break.
Rob Powell’s Broncos side showed much more spirit in the second half, Antonio Kaufusi and Ben Bolger both crossed to reduce the deficit to twelve points. Catalan Dragon Jason Baitieri was then sin binned for a foul on Craig Gower and the momentum was truly with the Broncos.
Chad Randall worked his way over the line for Broncos third try and an upset looked possible. Catalans kept cool head though, and responded through Remi Castry for his second try, and scrum-half Scott Dureau kept up his 100% conversion record on the day.
More good work from Leon Pryce opened up space for Steve Menzies, who put the result beyond doubt with a well taken try on 63 minutes. Jamal Fakir was injured after forcing himself over the Broncos tryline and closing the scoring at 42-18.
Catalan coach Trent Robinson: “we turned up at the right times”
Scott Dureau particularly impressed, converting successfully at all seven attempts as well as dictating play with clever kicking and off loads.
When asked about his team’s ability to fightback, Rob Powell said: “You don’t want to be 24-0 down but that said we talked at half time about going out there and showing some pride and having a crack.”
Trent Robinson, head coach of Catalan Dragons said the big difference between this and previous results was that “we created about the same but finished more today, I thought we turned up at the right times.”