Match report: Catalan Dragons 12 Leeds Rhinos 40

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Kevin Sinfield scored a personal tally of 16 points as Leeds Rhinos ran away with the game, finishing 40-12 winners in the south of France against Catalan Dragons.

England captain Sinfield, who earlier in the week had been ruled out of the game with an ankle injury by his coach, turned in a man of the match performance with a try and six conversions from as many attempts.

The home side started the brighter and opened the scoring through Michael Oldfield following a set play from a scrum. William Barthau converted, but the toll of having eight regulars missing eventually told for the Dragons.

Leeds fought back and Joel Moon touched down in the left corner after exchanging passes with Ryan Hall, Sinfield converting.

Leeds scored again without Catalan touching the ball as Brett Delaney raced onto Paul Aiton’s flat pass after good work by Ryan Bailey.

On the half hour mark, Sinfield and Watkins combined to send Tom Briscoe away down the right touchline and the winger showed his pace to score down the right, outpacing Mathias Pala in the process.

Leeds ran riot in the opening 10 minutes of the second half with both Carl Ablett and Ryan Hall touching down with the Dragons not touching the ball.

Ablett raced on to Burrow’s short pass after the half-back had dummied right then passed left, while Hall was on the end of a flowing move after good work by Moon.

Catalans got some consolation in the 52nd minute with Jean-Phillipe Baile scoring from Barthau’s kick - Barthau adding the conversion.

However, the visitors finished the strongest.

Leeds skipper Sinfield finished off a flowing move with 14 minutes remaining. Hardaker and Watkins combined to send Briscoe away down the right, his inside ball found Danny McGuire - who juggled with the ball before offloading to the supporting Sinfield to touch down.

In the dying seconds of the game, Moon and Hall again combined to see Hall touch down in the corner.

With Sinfield off the field, it was left to Rob Burrow to attempt the touchline conversion. However, as the hooter sounded, his effort faded across the front of the posts.

Matt Parcell.

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