Super League: Leon Pryce stars as Catalan Dragons see off Hull FC
Last Updated: 21/06/14 8:05pm
Leon Pryce: had a hand in three of four Catalan tries
Catalan Dragons held off a late Hull FC comeback to seal a 20-16 victory in the south of France.
Leon Pryce had a hand in three of four Catalan tries in another impressive performance by the Dragons' half back.
Catalan had to contend with the late withdrawal of Louis Anderson from the side, as well as former player, Setaimata Sa, playing for Hull against his former side for the first time since departing to rugby union eighteen months ago.
The hosts started much the brightly, with Ben Pomeroy seizing on a kick from Richard Horne in the 11th minute to release Morgan Escare for a 95-metre dash to score. Thomas Bosc added the conversion to give the hosts an early six-point-lead.
This was extended six minutes later, with Pryce putting in a high, cross-field kick to the right corner that was taken by Michael Oldfield who touched down. Bosc missed the conversion.
Hull got back into the game just after the half-hour mark as Gareth Ellis capitalised on weak defence from Bosc to charge over and register Hull's first points of the game. Jordan Rankin was unable to add the extras.
Pryce was tackled just short of the line before the interval, but Benjamin Garcia picked up to race over from short range to score under the posts. Bosc added the simple conversion to take the half time score to 16-4.
The Dragons must have thought they had the result wrapped up when Daryl Millard raced down the left touchline to score after a superb pass from Pryce, but crucially Bosc missed the conversion.
Catalan then had a try ruled out on the hour after Vincent Duport was found to have taken a Hull FC player out off the ball earlier in the play.
That inspired Hull to score back-to-back tries.
They broke up field from the penalty and superb footwork from Fetuli Telanoa created space down the Hull left and his neat offload to Kirk Yeaman sent the centre in at the left corner. Rankin added the touchline conversion to take the scores to 20-10.
Three minutes later, Hull were in again, Jamie Shaul taking Joe Westerman's pass and rounding Millard on the right hand side in one motion before racing in at the right corner.
Rankin showed his kicking prowess by adding a second touchline conversion from the opposite side to narrow the scores to 20-16 with fifteen minutes still to play.
Nerves were clearly on show as both sides battled to try and win the game, with Bosc missing a penalty from 30 metres and both teams guilty of dropping the ball in threatening situations.
As time was running down, Hull were awarded a scrum, but Josh Bowden knocked on with seconds remaining to seal the Catalan win.