CATALANS DRAGONS, who Leeds Rhinos face in Perpignan on Saturday, are celebrating a decade in Super League.
Rhinos have a mixed record in France and were victims of a spirited comeback by the home team nine years ago today.
The game on February 22, 2007, which Catalans won 30-22, was memorable for arguably the best individual try scored by a Leeds player in Super League.
Jamie Thackray won the club’s try of the season award for a sensational touchdown 27 minutes into the game.
Though he came off the bench into the front-row, Thackray displayed the skills of a world-class half-back.
Receiving the ball 40 metres from Dragons’ line, Thackray chipped over the defence and regathered.
With Catalans caught in two minds, he kicked again, made the catch and ran through for a remarkable touchdown which, once Kevin Sinfield had added the extras, squared the scores at 12-12.
Thackray’s magic inspired Rhinos, who raced into a 22-12 lead. They had gone behind to a Thomas Bosc try and Aaron Gorrell goal, cancelled out by Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s touchdown and the first of three Sinfield conversions.
Alex Chan’s try and another Gorrell goal made it 12-6 before Thackray’s intervention, then Scott Donald and Lee Smith went over to open a 10-point gap.
The visitors looked to be in cruise control, but the wheels fell off in the second half when they conceded 18 points without reply.
Casey McGuire got Catalans back into it and Dragons levelled with 23 minutes left through a touchdown by Vincent Dupport and the third of Gorrell’s five goals.
With 14 minutes remaining Dimitri Pelo scored the French side’s fifth try and Gorrell sealed it with two points from a late penalty.
Catalans Dragons 30
(Tries: Bosc, Chan, McGuire, Dupport, Pelo. Goals: Gorrell 5)
Leeds Rhinos 22 (Tries: Jones-Buchanan, Thackray, Donald, Smith. Goals: Sinfield 3)
February 22, 2007 SUPER LEAGUE
Catalans Dragons: Greenshields, Murphy Dupport, Mogg, Pelo, Bosc, C McGuire, Chan, Gorrell, Fellous, Raguin, Crocker, Mounis. Subs: Guisset, Ferriol, Teixido, Gossard.
Leeds Rhinos: Webb, Donald, Toopi, Senior, Smith, D McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Sinfield, Leuluai, Jones-Buchanan, Peacock, Ellis. Subs: Lauitiiti, Kirke, Tansey, Thackray.
Referee: Richard Silverwood.