Tries from Tom Davies, Mathieu Laguerre and Fouad Yaha helped Catalans Dragons come back from 8-0 down to win at Hull KR and reduce the gap to two points to Betfred Super League leaders St Helens
By PA Media
Last Updated: 21/05/22 3:54pm
Catalans Dragons produced a clinical second-half performance to turn around an 8-0 deficit and secure a 20-8 victory over Hull KR that keeps them in touch with Super League leaders St Helens.
After three lacklustre displays on the road, including a disappointing Challenge Cup exit, Rovers were more like their old selves back at Craven Park and they came up with some delightful rugby in the first half.
Tony Smith’s men led 8-4 at the break and ought to have been further ahead, such was their domination of a misfiring Dragons side, but they failed to withstand their opponents’ fightback and the result was a fourth-successive defeat.
All the Catalans’ tries came from their threequarters but they were again indebted to their pack reinforcements on the bench as they finished strongly to clinch a third-straight win and move to within two points of Saints.
Without both of his regular half-backs, Smith opted to pair full-back Will Dagger alongside Rowan Milnes but with only limited success and he was forced into another reshuffle when Dagger limped off 11 minutes into the second half.
With forwards Elliot Minchella, Frankie Halton and Albert Vete all back from injury, Rovers were full of energy and enthusiasm from the start and took the lead with a seventh-minute try from centre Ben Crooks, who got on the end of Milnes’ inch-perfect lofted kick to the line.
Full-back Lachlan Coote added the conversion and kicked a penalty four minutes later to make it 8-0 before the Dragons had managed to settle into the game.
Handling errors from Catalans threequarters Tom Davies and Mathieu Laguerre inside their own 20-metre area kept the pressure on and it was largely against the run of play when the visitors pulled a try back.
The Catalans lacked cohesion and co-ordination for most of the first half but when they finally managed to put it together, running the ball on the last tackle, they created an opening for Davies, who took Tyrone May’s pass to squeeze over at the corner.
It was the only time they seriously threatened Hull KR in the first half and they were defending inside their own 10-metre area when they went in front two minutes after the break.
Laguerre picked off Dagger’s pass and showed a clean pair of heels to the pursuing Rovers players as he went over for an interception try, which Arthur Mourgue goaled.
The try breathed fresh confidence into the Catalans, who scored again after 54 minutes when winger Fouad Yaha, the most prolific scorer in the club’s history, took full-back Sam Tomkins’ cut-out pass and produced a clinical finish for his 89th try.
Mourgue again made light of the difficult conversion and added a penalty to extend his side’s lead to 18-8. He then kicked a second penalty four minutes from time to complete an impressive comeback.