Magic Weekend: London Broncos edged out by Catalan Dragons
Last Updated: 17/05/14 3:16pm
London Broncos' Maxime Herold is tackled by Catalan Dragons' Morgan Escare
Josh Drinkwater's failed conversion of his own try denied London what would have been a first point of the 2014 season as they lost the Magic Weekend opener 24-22 to Catalan Dragons.
The scrum-half's show-and-go score with seven minutes left had looked set to bring his side level for a second time but he was unable to nail his conversion from just to the right of the posts.
It was rough justice on Drinkwater and London, who had looked set to finally break their duck for the season at the 13th time of asking.
They trailed 18-6 and 24-18 during the afternoon and new coach Joe Grima will surely feel - like many of the neutrals inside the Etihad Stadium did - that they deserved more.
Nothing was what they got, though, which belied their performance.
Despite their own wretched form and a 10-game losing run against the Catalans going against them, London battled manfully early on and managed to more than hold their own before scoring the first try.
After a series of close calls, near-misses and handling errors, full-back Ben Farrar arrived into the attacking line at the perfect moment before standing a ball up for the onrushing Mason Caton-Brown who did the rest. Drinkwater converted from wide out.
Catalan tried to respond but Leon Pryce saw his pass after a break tapped down - typical of his side's opening to the game - but they found the right combination to get on the board eight minutes before the break.
A Thomas Bosc kick was gathered by Vincent Duport who clung on to mark his 100th Super League appearance with a try. Bosc's conversion levelled the scores.
Catalan did not necessarily deserve to be level and were even more fortunate to find themselves ahead at the break. Normally Elliott Whitehead's attempted offload would have gone to ground but, with two minutes of the half left, it hit a defender's body and rebounded back to him with the line open.
London should have hit back eight minutes after the break but poor play from centre Thomas Minns robbed them of the chance. He broke through and had a simple overlap pass to Denny Solomona. He chose instead to go himself and was shut down.
Zeb Taia then did the same thing at the other end as the quality continued to remain well below average, before Catalan got a third with Jeff Lima's first try for the club, the former Wigan man going over the top of Farrar from close range.
It appeared as though London were done for at that stage, but Caton-Brown gave them a puncher's chance of a comeback with a strong run with 16 minutes left and just after that James Greenwood showed great courage to drag himself over. Drinkwater converted both to bring the scores together at 18-all.
London had the majority of the neutrals on their side at this point but that could not help them as Catalan decided to turn it up a notch again, with Michael Oldfield going clear down the right and passing inside to the supporting Whitehead.
It then appeared as though momentum was back with London as Drinkwater threw a dummy and then slipped through the gap it created, only for his poor conversion attempt to undo his good work.
First Utility Super League
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants34 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos36 - 22Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings21 - 20Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers6 - 44Warrington Wolves
Thu 6th Aug - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 7th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Hull FC
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 8th Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Thu 13th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 14th Aug - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 20th Aug - Super 8's
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 21st Aug - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Sat 22nd Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsCastleford Tigers
Thu 3rd Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield GiantsvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 4th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sat 5th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Sun 6th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 10th Sep - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 11th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHull FC
Sat 12th Sep - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 13th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Thu 17th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 18th Sep - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 19th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Fri 25th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC0 - 0Catalans Dragons
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Magic Weekend 2014, round 13
Jason Crookes will face a disciplinary committee to answer a Grade B charge following his sending-off at the weekend.
Stevo salutes Magic Weekend's 'rugby league bonanza' and hopes it can return to Etihad Stadium.
Highlights from Sunday's Magic Weekend matches including Huddersfield's win over Bradford.
- Wellens upset with loss
- Warrington back to their best
- Ferres return thrills Anderson
- Giants run riot against Bulls
- Tigers in talks over Sneyd
- Cas thrash woeful Wildcats
- Wane hails wounded Warriors
- Warriors battle past Rhinos
- Rovers claim bragging rights
- Betts: We showed character
- Vikings too strong for Salford
- London boss defends Drinkwater
- Flanagan targets league shield
- Wildcats v Tigers: Teams
- Wolves v Saints: Teams
- Giants v Bulls: Teams
- Morley - Red Devils improving
- Vikings v Red Devils: Teams
- Wildcats grab Tiger Owen
- Jones-Buchanan: Leeds firing
- Grima still upbeat on survival
- Shenton seeks magic formula
- Returning Ferres fired up
- Radford: Rovers the favourites