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Dragons ease past Broncos
London show glimpses of promise but are eventually well beaten
Catalan Dragons ran in a total of seven tries to comfortably defeat London Broncos 42-18 and consolidate their place in the top-four of Stobart Super League.
Trent Robinson's men had looked set for an even greater victory at the Etihad Stadium when they led 24-0 at half-time, but were eventually made to work harder than expected as the Broncos came back to within six points at one stage.
The Broncos, who are currently the subject of a performance review from the club's directors, made a promising start as Omari Caro was denied an early try when Michael Robertson knocked-on in the build-up.
Antonio Kaufusi wasted and even greater opportunity with seven minutes on the clock, the prop being ideally placed when Craig Gower's kick ricocheted up under the posts but, despite being a yard out, he could still not gather the ball.
The Catalan side finally put their early errors behind them when Jamie O'Callaghan's ball steal gave them a penalty and Scott Dureau's reverse pass gave Lopini Paea a walk-in to the line for the first try of the second day of Magic Weekend.
Another London error, this time a Michael Channing knock-on, then allowed Dureau to send Leon Pryce over with 14 minutes on the clock.
Unlike the Dragons, London were not getting away with their errors. Dan Sarginson and Craig Gower gave away penalties, as did Scott Wheeldon, with that trio of mistakes eventually leading to another try.
Sarginson went up to gather a Pryce kick but only shelled it, allowing Clint Greenshields to expertly pat the loose ball into the hands of the waiting Remi Casty for a third try.
London prospect Kieran Dixon then thought he had pulled a score back, only for video referee Ian Smith to find a fault in his grounding after he beat Cyrille Stacul to a Gower kick.
The Broncos' misery was then compounded when Dureau's chip fell kindly for Steve Menzies, who sent Pryce away for his second three minutes before half-time.
With a 24-0 deficit at the break, London looked set for a thrashing but started the second half well, with Kaufusi doing what he failed to do in the early stages and scoring from close in.
Four minutes later, Ben Bolger put on a similar play from a Mark Bryant offload and with Shane Rodney kicking his second goal, cutting the deficit to only 12 points.
Jason Baitieri actually was then given a 55th-minute sin-binning for a late hit on Gower and it took London less than 60 seconds to cash in, with Chad Randall diving in from dummy half.
A pressure-relieving penalty and a London error helped Catalan stabilise, though, and when Casty used his size to get over for a second with 17 minutes left, they had some breathing space again.
Any panic was over when Menzies touched down with 10 minutes left, before Jamal Fakir wrapped things up following a wonderful flowing move that went through Menzies before Ben Fisher teed-up the forward.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|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|
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