Catalans hold on to add to Rhinos' woes


Catalans Dragons withstood a valiant fightback from Leeds Rhinos to pile more misery on the winless Super League champions in a 32-28 victory.

Close-season signing Dave Taylor scored a hat-trick for a Catalans side that had yet to win this season, while Richie Myler, Krisnan Inu and Tony Gigot also crossed the line at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

The Rhinos had trailed 24-8 early in the second half and, despite improving to close the gap, they remain rooted to the bottom of the table after three matches.

Brian McDermott's men won a famous treble in 2015, but they suffered a 56-12 hiding at the hands of Widnes Vikings last time out in Super League before they lost last weekend's World Club Challenge 38-4 to NRL champions North Queensland Cowboys.

Taylor's first was somewhat contentious as the decision went upstairs to check for a knock on in the build-up, and the try was awarded despite the television match official seemingly checking the wrong incident.

Kallum Watkins restored parity in the 23rd minute, but the hosts led at the break as Jodie Broughton's offload sent Myler over the line.

Catalans stretched the lead a minute after the restart when Inu glided through the Rhinos' defence, before Todd Carney and Glenn Stewart combined to set up Gigot - Pat Richards' extras making it 24-8.

Liam Sutcliffe completed a fine Rhinos move to cut the gap and Ryan Hall finished off another brilliant play to bring Leeds within four points.

Taylor's second just after the hour halted the visitors' momentum and, although Ash Handley's first of the season again put pressure on the hosts, Richards' penalty calmed the Dragons' nerves.

Watkins ran in a second from long range in the closing stages, but it was too little too late for the struggling Rhinos.