London Broncos 6-38 Catalans: Matt Whitley scores twice as Dragons ease to away win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 18/04/19 10:59pm
Matt Whitley scored two tries as Catalans Dragons beat second-bottom London Broncos 38-6 to stay sixth in the Betfred Super League.
Catalans, edged out by a single point at home by Hull FC last time out, emphatically returned to form with a six-try showing that left the Broncos just two points above bottom-placed Leeds.
London looked to explode out of the blocks on Thursday night, with Jacob Ogden nearly touching down on the right wing before Robert Butler's teasing kick was just about dealt with by the Dragons.
But, almost immediately, Catalans found themselves on the front foot, with Julian Bousquet rampaging his way towards the try-line before he was held up by a clutch of black shirts.
Dragons kept their foot on the gas, however, and got the scoreboard ticking over as Whitley jinked free to score, with Sam Tomkins kicking the extras.
Ogden's try-saving tackle prevented Lewis Tierney from quickly adding to Catalans' advantage while, as the first half progressed, Matt Gee very nearly finished off a smart break from the hosts but was held up by Whitley at the vital moment.
Tomkins bisected the posts to make it 8-0 and, with just over 10 minutes of the first half to go, the hosts suffered a further blow.
Jordan Abdull was left prone on the ground by a thumping challenge - and following a lengthy delay, the stand-off was stretchered from the pitch, with Dragons' Sam Moa yellow-carded.
And, once they held off a number of spirited Broncos offensives, 12-man Catalans bagged their second try of the game.
An aerial kick put the hosts in a spin and Whitley seized possession and was able to feed Tierney to dot down, with Tomkins converting.
After the break, Dragons picked up where they left off, weaving possession this way and that to allow Greg Bird to score, Tomkins' boot making it 20-0.
Kicking right into gear in the second half, Catalans began to manipulate the Broncos at will and more impressive work led to Arthur Romano crashing over the line out wide.
And soon afterwards, the Dragons orchestrated another try, Remi Casty turning on the afterburners to work an opening and, after Romano was held up, the ball bounced favourably for Tomkins to get in on the act, the scrum-half adding the extras to make it 30-0.
The onslaught continued apace, with the Dragons slicing through their hosts and feeding Whitley, who barged over for his second try of the game, with Tomkins' conversion adding further gloss to the scoreline.
But, with 17 minutes to go, Broncos finally got themselves on the scoreboard, Mark Ioane streaking clear to dot down and Morgan Smith converted. A Tomkins penalty rounded things off for Catalans.