Catalans Dragons 32 Leeds Rhinos 36. Aidan Sezer scores golden point winner for 12-man Leeds
Twelve-man Leeds Rhinos staged an incredible fightback to stun Catalans Dragons in golden point extra time at Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday.
Aidan Sezer, in his return from a three-game injury layoff, darted over for the decisive try to seal an astonishing 36-32 victory after Rhinos had trailed 30-6 before Matt Prior was sent-off.
Prior, returning from his third ban of the season, was sin-binned on the first play of the second period.
The hosts scored 14 points during his spell off the field to take a firm grip on the game and Prior was sent-off for a high tackle moments after his return, leaving Rhinos down to 12 men for the final 26 minutes.
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Rhyse Martin then levelled the scores with a penalty two minutes from time after Catalans’ Fouad Yaha had been sin-binned.
Yaha opened the scoring with a try at the corner after seven minutes from Tomkins’ pass after Josh Drinkwater had moved the ball left.
Tomkins failed with his conversion attempt, but landed a penalty soon afterwards when Martin picked up in an offside position following a knock on by Harry Newman.
The hosts went further ahead at the end of the opening quarter, in a penalty set after a late tackle by Myler on Tomkins.
The England full-back extracted revenge with a pass to Benjamin Jullien who went over and Tomkins’ pass made it 12-0.
Tomkins missed with a drop goal attempt, but Catalans extended their lead four minutes before the break when Drinkwater’s kick rebounded off a defender to Yaha who went over for his second touchdown.
There was no conversion and Rhinos got back into the game on the final play of the half through an outstanding finish by Liam Sutcliffe, who took Martin’s pass behind his back and spun round to touch down. Martin added the extras after the hooter to cut the deficit to 10 points.
Tomkins booted the resulting penalty following Prior’s yellow card and ries by Sam Kasiano and Samisoni Langi, both converted by Tomkins, extended the lead before Prior was sent-off.
Leeds reacted well with Cameron Smith setting up a try for Myler, then the half-back scored again from a kick by Sezer.
Martin improved both to leave Leeds only 12 points adrift with a quarter of the game remaining.
Tomkins’ third penalty goal opened a three-score gap, but Myler completed his hat-trick off good play by Sezer and Martin added his fourth goal.
Still Leeds weren’t done and Brad Dwyer cut the gap further with a try from his own kick.
The conversion made it 32-30 and Martin levelled matters with a penalty after Yaha’s yellow card.
Drinkwater missed with a drop goal attempt before the 80 and Sezer was off target in extra-time, but sealed a famous win when he sliced through the defence after Dwyer and Zak Hardaker had keot the ball alive.
Leeds were without winger David Fusitu’a, who had been in doubt after suffering an ankle injury in last week’s win over Wigan.
The club opted to leave him in Leeds with his wife Eden, who was due to give birth to their second child. Liam Tindall took over on the right-wing.
Catalans Dragons: Tomkins, Yaha, Langi, Whare, Romano, Morgue, Drinkwater, Dudson, McIlorum, Seguier, Jullien, J Chan, Da Costa. Subs T Chan, Goudemand, Cozza, Kasiano.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Tindall, Newman, Sutcliffe, Handley, Sezer, Myler, Oledzki, O’Connor, Thompson, Bentley, Martin, Donaldson. Subs Dwyer, Gannon, Smith, Prior.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).