Catalans Dragons 36-8 Hull: Dragons in sizzling form to maintain Super League challenge
Tries by Mike McMeeken, Fouad Yaha, Mickael Goudemand, Samisoni Langi, Mitchell Pearce and Tyrone May earned Catalans Dragons a 36-8 Super League victory in Perpignan; Josh Griffin and Darnell McIntosh replied for Hull
By PA Media
Last Updated: 11/06/22 9:36pm
Catalans Dragons turned up the heat at the top of Super League with a sizzling 36-8 victory against Hull in Perpignan.
Heatwave conditions in the south of France took their toll on this match, with searing 35-degree sunshine, but Catalans coped best to maintain the pressure on leaders St Helens, who they trail by just two points.
It was hot stuff in the early exchanges, Mike McMeeken breaking a fierce set-for-set deadlock with a try in the 11th minute after brilliant handling from scrum-half Tyrone May, with Sam Tomkins adding the conversion for 6-0.
Tomkins added two more points when Hull stand-off Josh Reynolds went high in his tackle on Dragons prop Julian Bousquet, but the addition of Sam Kasiano from the bench led directly to the next try.
Two surges up the middle led to a left-wing scramble involving Matt Whitley and Matthieu Laguerre, with the ball ending up in the hands of winger Fouad Yaha, who crossed in the corner for a try converted by Tomkins to make it 14-0.
A minute later, stand-off Mitchell Pearce broke through the Hull line 30 metres out and released French prop Mickael Goudemand to finish under the posts, with Tomkins' kick again on target.
Referee Jack Smith incurred the wrath of the French crowd when he sin-binned Dragons captain Ben Garcia just before half-time for holding down in the tackle, but at 20-0 Catalans were in control at the interval.
Hull made the most of their numerical advantage early in the second half when they had three successive sets deep into Catalans territory and centre Josh Griffin forced his way over from short range on the left.
However, Garcia returned from the bin alongside his French team-mate Arthur Mourgue and they immediately created the space for centre Samisoni Langi to score on his return from injury - and his birthday.
Hull were on the back foot again, with Dragons winger Tom Davies held up short, then on his back over the line in the next set, followed by Laguerre losing control just as he was about to score.
But against the run of play, the visitors benefitted from a series of penalties conceded by Catalans and winger Darnell McIntosh latched onto a swift handling move to the right to score in the corner.
At 24-8 with seven minutes left, Hull still had a glimmer of hope but that was extinguished when Pearce waltzed between the posts for a short-range try.
His Australian half-back team-mate May sealed the win two minutes later with a dazzling 70-metre handling move, with Tomkins' sixth conversion of the night adding the final touch.