Posté le 20/04/2012 23:49:36
Leeds Rhinos (16) 34
T : Ben Jones-Bishop 2, Ryan Hall, Zak Hardaker, Shaun Lunt, Ryan Bailey
G: Kevin Sinfield 5
Catalans Dragons (6) 18
T : Louis Anderson, Steve Menzies, Leon Pryce
G: Scott Dureau 3
Hooker Shaun Lunt was among the tryscorers on his Leeds Rhinos debut as the champions thwarted Catalan Dragons' bid to draw level with Huddersfield Giants at the top of Stobart Super League.
Lunt, signed on loan this week from Huddersfield, was given his chance with Rob Burrow ruled out for a month due to a fractured cheekbone, and played the full 80 minutes as the Rhinos brought the high-flying Dragons down to earth with a bump.
The French side had high hopes of a first-ever win at Headingley, the only Super League venue at which they have yet to taste success, but were never in the hunt as they produced a below-par performance.
Leeds' in-form centre Zak Hardaker moved his try tally to 12 in his last eight matches, but winger Ben Jones-Bishop took the honours with a brace of touchdowns, while captain Kevin Sinfield kicked five goals from six attempts on the 450th appearance of his career.
The Dragons' French international Thomas Bosc failed a late fitness test, which meant a third senior outing for 19-year-old winger Damien Cardace, whose inexperience was evident as the Rhinos raced into a 12-0 lead.
Jones-Bishop leapt above him to claim Sinfield's high kick and touch down for his first try after just three minutes and, when the French youngster was tackled into touch seven minutes later, Leeds scored straight from the resulting scrum, full-back Brent Webb cutting through the visitors' defence to get Ryan Hall over.
The Catalans were struggling to get a foothold in the game but were aided by successive penalties conceded by Leeds for obstruction, which enabled them to put the home defence under intense pressure with six consecutive sets of tackles.
The Rhinos defence finally cracked when half-backs Leon Pryce and Scott Dureau worked an opening for second rower Louis Anderson to go over for a try, which Dureau converted.
However, Leeds responded swiftly as centre Carl Ablett got Jones-Bishop squeezing over at the corner for his second try, which put the champions into a 16-6 half-time lead.
And the result was put beyond doubt six minutes into the second half when Catalan winger Cyril Stacul fumbled Sinfield's high kick near his own line and Hardaker pounced for the easiest of his 13 tries so far this season.
Sinfield missed the goal and the Dragons pulled a try back on 50 minutes through veteran forward Steve Menzies, who supported a break by Pryce, to give them a glimmer of hope.
That was quickly snuffed out by Lunt, who went from dummy half through a yawning gap in the Dragons defence for a try on debut.
The never-say-die Menzies had a second try disallowed for a double movement during a rare Catalan foray into the Leeds 20-metre area before Ryan Bailey crashed over for the Rhinos' sixth try and Sinfield kicked his fifth goal.
The Dragons finished a well-beaten side but had the satisfaction of scoring the final try through Pryce, with Dureau kicking his third goal.