Super League: Catalans Dragons 23-18 Hull: Dragons end six-match losing run with dramatic win

30 May

Catalans Dragons scored two tries in the last nine minutes to end their six-match losing run and break Hull’s hearts in a dramatic Super League clash in Perpignan.

The Dragons were heading for another defeat when Hull winger Nick Rawsthorne scored his second try of the match on 67 minutes to give his side an 18-11 lead.

However, the Catalans finished strongly, with Fouad Yaha and Tony Gigot touching down kicks from scrum-half Luke Walsh to secure a 23-18 victory in the first home match under caretaker coaches Jerome Guisset and Michael Monaghan.

The victory enabled the French club to climb out of the bottom four at the expense of Warrington, while Hull drop out of the top four after a third successive defeat – their misery compounded by the late dismissal of prop Liam Watts for a high tackle on Dragons captain Remi Casty.

Their victory came just three weeks after a 62-0 Challenge Cup mauling by the Black and Whites but the Dragons were boosted by the return from suspension of experienced forward Greg Bird.

Scrum-half Richie Myler put the home side on the attack with an early 40-20 kick and former Hull prop Sam Moa gave them a seventh-minute lead when he took Walsh’s short pass to power his way over for the opening try.

Walsh added the goal to make it 6-0 but the Catalans were temporarily reduced to 12 men on 16 minutes when Moa was sin-binned for throwing a punch at Danny Washbrook and Hull immediately took advantage, with half-back Albert Kelly demonstrating deceptive strength to force his way over the line after taking Danny Houghton’s pass from the ruck.

Jake Connor, deputising for injured scrum-half Marc Sneyd, levelled the scores with the conversion but Walsh edged the French side back in front with a 24th-minute penalty.

Chances were few and far between with both sides guilty of sloppy handling and, after Super League debutant centre Arthur Romano had a try ruled out by the video referee, Walsh took the opportunity to slot over a drop goal to make it 9-6 at the break.

Another Walsh penalty early in the second half opened up a five-point but Hull went in front for the first time on 54 minutes when Connor intercepted Paul Aiton’s pass and got Rawsthorne over for his first try for the club.

Connor’s goal made it 12-11 and sparked the best rugby of the match by the visitors.

Winger Steve Michaels and centre Josh Griffin both had tries disallowed as Hull piled on the pressure before Rawsthorne grabbed his second try on 67 minutes courtesy of Connor’s cut-out pass.

The Dragons were once more down to 12 men at the time, with Romano the second home player to be shown a yellow card, but they held their nerve in an exciting finish.

Walsh was the provider for both late tries, right winger Yaha leaping high to touch down his high kick and full-back Gigot reading the Australian’s trademark punt off the outside of his boot to grab the winner.

Walsh converted both, taking his goal tally to five from as many attempts, and Hull were already doomed by the time Watts was sent off for a high tackle on Casty two minutes from the end.

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