Flying visit just the ticket for Rhinos

Jamie Jones-Buchanan scores the Rhinos third try.'Leeds Rhinos v Catalan Dragons. First Utility Super League Elimination play-off. Headingley Carnegie Stadium.  20 September 2014.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Jamie Jones-Buchanan scores the Rhinos third try.'Leeds Rhinos v Catalan Dragons. First Utility Super League Elimination play-off. Headingley Carnegie Stadium. 20 September 2014. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Leeds Rhinos will be looking to make it four wins in a row on French soil when they cross swords with Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday.

Rhinos have won on their last three visits to Stade Gilbert Brutus, a run which began with a memorable 27-20 victory in a Super League elimination play-off three years ago.

In 2013 Leeds defied the second half dismissal of prop Ryan Bailey to record an against-the-odds 27-12 success, when Jamie Jones-Buchanan (PICTURED) was among the try scorers and captain Kevin Sinfield landed seven goals and a one-pointer.

Last year they were even more dominant, Sinfield scoring a try and six goals and Ryan Hall touching down twice in a 40-12 triumph.

For their last two visits Rhinos have chartered their own flight from Leeds-Bradford to Perpignan and return, making the round trip in one day.

Leeds - who will be doing the same this time - are the only club not spend at least one night away from home when visiting Catalans and coach Brian McDermott reckons they have hit on a winning formula.

“I don’t think the benefits are for that particular game, but it certainly benefits us for the week after,” he said.

“You have an extra training day here in Leeds, where you don’t have to encounter travel.

“Sometimes we have been out there two days before leading up to a game and that has its benefits as well, but this is something we have done for the last couple of years.

“I don’t think it gives us an edge over Catalans as such, going out on the day, but it certainly helps us with our recovery for the following week.”

Rhinos’ trips to the south of France haven’t always been as productive.

They lost to London Broncos - who switched their home fixture to Perpignan’s Stade Aime Giral - in 2005 and were beaten by Catalans in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012, all years which saw Rhinos go on to win the Grand Final.

Leeds’ most notorious defeat at Catalans was a 38-18 drubbing in July, 2011.

That performance proved a turning point in Leeds’ season and they went on to win the title from fifth spot in the table.

Rhinos’ record away to Catalans Dragons is:

Catalans Dragons 12 Leeds 40 (Super League, 28/2/14)

Catalans Dragons 12 Leeds 27 (Super League, 1/4/13)

Catalans Dragons 20 Leeds 27 (Super League play-off semi-final, 21/9/12)

Catalans Dragons 38 Leeds 34 (Super League, 18/8/12)

Catalans Dragons 38 Leeds 18 (Super League, 10/7/11)

Catalans Dragons 24 Leeds 34 (Super League, 5/4/2010)

Catalans Dragons 32 Leeds 30 (Super League, 6/6/2009)

Catalans Dragons 24 Leeds 37 (Super League, 19/7/2008)

Catalans Dragons 30, Leeds 22 (Super League, 24/2/2007)

Catalans Dragons 10 Leeds 58 (Super League, 11/3/2006)

Tom Briscoe.

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