Super League: Leeds Rhinos maintain perfect start with 40-12 win over Catalan Dragons
Leeds Rhinos maintained their 100 percent start to the Super League season with a 40-12 away win over Catalan Dragons.
Last Updated: 28/02/14 10:28pm
England captain Kevin Sinfield, who earlier in the week had been ruled out of the game with an ankle injury by his coach, turned in a man-of-the-match performance as he finished with 16 points following a try and six conversions from as many attempts.
The home side had started the brighter and opened the scoring on eight minutes through Michael Oldfield after a set play from a scrum. William Barthau converted, but the toll of having eight regulars missing soon began to tell for the Dragons.
Leeds fought back and Joel Moon touched down in the left corner on 24 minutes after exchanging passes with Ryan Hall, Sinfield converting.
That opened the floodgates and the Rhinos scored again without Catalan touching the ball as Brett Delaney raced on to Paul Aiton's flat pass after good work by Ryan Bailey.
On the half hour mark, Sinfield and Watkins combined to send Tom Briscoe away down the right touchline and the winger demonstrated his pace to score, showing a clean pair of heels to Mathias Pala.
Rhinos cut loose
Leeds ran riot in the opening 10 minutes of the second half as both Carl Ablett and Ryan Hall crossed with the Dragons again failing to get their hands on the ball.
Ablett raced on to Burrow's short pass after the half-back had dummied right then passed left, while Hall was on the end of a flowing move after good work by Moon.
Catalans got some consolation in the 52nd minute with Jean-Phillipe Baile scoring from Barthau's kick - Barthau himself adding the conversion.
However, the visitors finished the stronger and Leeds skipper Sinfield capped off a flowing move with 14 minutes remaining to get amongst the tryscorers.
Hardaker and Watkins combined to release Briscoe down the right, his inside ball found Danny McGuire - who juggled with the ball before offloading to the supporting Sinfield to touch down.
In the dying seconds of the game, Moon and Hall again combined to see Hall touch down in the corner. With Sinfield off the pitch, it was left to Burrow to attempt the touchline conversion but, as the hooter sounded, his effort faded across the front of the posts.