Dragons return to form
Catalan Dragons strengthened their grip on third place in Stobart Super League with a narrow 13-10 win over Hull KR at Craven Park.
It extended the French side's run over the Robins to four games and saw them return to winning ways after successive defeats to Salford and Wigan. Trent Robinson labelled his side's performance against the Reds as disgraceful, but he would have been pleased with their overall display in east Hull.
Few sides have kept the Dragons to 20 points or less, but Rovers have done it twice this season. However, a third time was asking a little too much from the Robins. The last time the Dragons visited Craven Park in April, they were outscored by four tries to three but escaped with a Challenge Cup victory thanks to a rare off-day by Rovers goalkicker Michael Dobson.
Scott Dureau was on form with the boot with a superb drop goal and penalty at the death to secure the win. After a cagey start by both sides, it was the Dragons that broke the deadlock. Video referee Ian Smith found no fault with Daryl Millard's high leap and knock back for Clint Greenshields, who in turn sent Setaimata Sa over for the score.
Dureau, whose kick caused the confusion in the first place, missed the conversion but Catalan led 4-0 after 17 minutes. Rovers' response was impressive and prompt. Jake Webster had little room to ground Blake Green's kick but he did to level the scores, and Dobson's conversion gave the home side a 6-4 advantage after 20 minutes.
Chances were few and far between after that as defences came to the fore close to the respective try lines. Ben Galea and Dobson twice squandered try-scoring opportunities before the end of the first half.
Just before the hooter sounded Dureau attempted a 40-metres drop goal, but the connection was not as good as he would have liked and it had neither the height nor direction to trouble the scorers. Catalan would have been the happier of the two sides with the score 6-4 at the break.
The Dragons should have been behind at the start of the second half when Graeme Horne went very close. However, video referee Smith ruled out his try for a knock on over the line. Craig Hall could also has scored but an unfortunate knock on when the ball bounced up and hit his hand ruled the play dead.
Dureau equalised for the Dragons with a 55th-minute penalty, but the sides did not stay on level terms for long. Five minutes later, Scott Murrell found himself on the left wing to ground Lincoln Withers' inch perfect kick through.
Dobson was off target with the conversion, but Rovers held a 10-6 lead which, in the wet conditions, was a good one until Greenshields scored an unconverted try to level matters with five minutes to go before Dureau dropped a goal three minutes later to break the 10-10 deadlock. A Dureau penalty after the hooter added gloss to the score for the French side.
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