23 Mar 2019

Catalans defeat Leeds in Perpignan

Fouad Yaha scored four tries as Catalans Dragons moved up to fifth in Betfred Super League with a 26-22 victory over struggling Leeds Rhinos in Perpignan.

The winger raced over for the winning try with six minutes remaining, meaning Ash Handley's treble proved in vain for the Rhinos, who remain bottom of the table.

Leeds were 12-0 up inside 12 minutes courtesy of two tries from Handley, who went in at the corner and then intercepted and ran the length of the field.

Yaha barged his way over from dummy half to reduce the deficit, but Konrad Hurrell went through a gap to make it 16-6.

Yaha grabbed his second in the corner and, after Brett Ferres was sin-binned for the visitors, Lucas Albert's try and Sam Tomkins' conversion levelled it up at 16-16.

Handley completed his treble in the 48th minute, taking Richie Myler's long pass to score in the corner, before Yaha followed suit.

Tomkins sent over the conversion to put Catalans two points ahead, which was wiped out by a Liam Sutcliffe penalty, but Yaha sealed the win late on.

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara said: “I thought Leeds were good and we found a way to win that I’m pleased with, but the performance I’m certainly not happy with.

“It’s an important two points make no mistake about that, so it was really important to finish on the right side of the scoreboard at the end.

“But some of the things we did in that game were criminal and I’ve certainly let the players know about that now.

“It’s not good enough if we’re going to get to where we’re going. We need to improve. I didn’t think it was a step forward this week at all.”

Leeds head coach David Furner said: “We didn’t get the points, it’s probably been two weeks in a row now.

“I loved the way that we attacked the game, we had plenty of energy. We made some changes there to bring a bit more energy and a bit more control to the game.

“First half we were close to completing at 100 per cent so really good control, but second half I think we had three, what I would call, major errors out of yardage which gave them a little bit more energy and that was probably the disappointing part.

“We never stopped trying, but we’ve just got to learn to close those games off – that’s two weeks in a row that’s really hurt us."