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Dragons crush Bulls
French side revel at wintry Odsal
Catalan Dragons got their Stobart Super League season off to a magnificent start with a 34-12 victory at Bradford Bulls.
The Bulls may have been regretting their decision to do everything in their power to ensure the game went ahead after an evening of heavy snow as Catalan ran in six tries.
Scrum-half Scott Dureau played a key part in the Dragons' resounding success, setting up two tries as well as kicking 10 points.
The game was in danger of being postponed on Sunday morning as several inches of snow lay on the Odsal pitch.
But thanks to countless volunteers helping to clear the snow from in and around the ground, it meant the start was only delayed by 30 minutes.
The Bradford fans who took part may be wishing they had not bothered as they watched their side crumble to a heavy defeat, reminiscent of many of their games last season.
Adrian Purtell, Elliot Kear, Jarrod Sammut and Luke Gale were all handed debuts by former Catalan boss Mick Potter.
Second rower Louis Anderson made his first Super League appearance for the visitors, who were without injured former Bradford favourite Leon Pryce.
The Dragons certainly showed no signs of missing their first English signing as they took a seventh-minute lead.
Dureau's jinking run started off the move and the ball was worked to Setaimata Sa then Jason Baitieri, who just about managed to squeeze the ball over the line despite Bradford's best efforts to prevent him.
Dureau added the extras but the hosts rallied and Sammut had a try chalked off for a knock on in the build-up, while Dragons centre Sebastien Raguin did well to hold on to Gale's up-and-under.
Stout in defence early on, Catalan were also clinical in attack, with full-back Clint Greenshields latching on to Ian Henderson's pass before sprinting 40 yards and going over under the posts in the 21st minute.
And there was no let-up as the influential Dureau burst through a gap in the Bulls' defence before unselfishly laying off to Thomas Bosc for the third try of the afternoon in the 31st minute.
Dureau made it three from three with the boot and added a penalty shortly before half-time to give his side a formidable 20-point advantage at the interval.
Within three minutes of the restart, more porous defending from the Bulls allowed Trent Robinson's side to extend their lead, with Sa bulldozing his way through Sammut.
To their credit, Bradford enjoyed a spell of pressure deep in the Catalan half.
However, the visitors refused to buckle and Dureau produced the highlight of the match as Catalan looked set to run riot.
The scrum-half dummied into space before his grubber to the right wing allowed Daryl Millard to crash over in the 55th minute.
Jamie Langley ensured Bradford would not be blanked when he scrambled his way over on the right in the 62nd minute, but Raguin finished off a free-flowing passing move along the left three minutes from the end for Catalan's sixth try of the afternoon.
Bradford were to have the last word as Kear went over on the right on the hooter, with Gale adding his second kick, but it was scant consolation.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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