CATALANS Dragons boss Laurent Frayssinous has hailed Leeds Rhinos’ fans for their unwavering support of the fallen Super League champions.
His side inflicted a seventh successive defeat on Leeds on Friday night yet there was still a crowd of 14,016 to witness it at Headingley, the weekend’s biggest attendance by far.
Rhinos were just 18-12 behind as they pressed hard in the closing stages before Eloi Pelissier’s 80th minute try confirmed the French club’s success.
Frayssinous admitted: “They have had some bad luck in the last few weeks but tonight they worked hard and, to be honest, were very close to winning the game. In their situation, when you come to their home ground and watch all the fans shouting and helping their team like that, as a rugby league fan, that was pleasing for me. Yes, I’m pleased for the Catalans to win and get the two points.
“But to come here and still have almost 15,000 people sharing this – despite those fans knowing they are bottom of the comp’ – that is good for the game.”
Catalans remain just two points adrift of leaders Hull FC and, having traditionally been wretched travellers, have now won six of their eight games away from Perpignan so far.
“In the past we were very sad to go back in our private jet,” Frayssinous added.
“This year it’s pleasing to come back with smiles on our faces. I was very proud of their efforts, especially with 12 French players in my Catalans team. It’s a big response to those people who say that we are a team full of Australians.”