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Catalans Dragons 68-6 Sheffield Eagles PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 April 2012 10:35

altThe Sheffield Eagles crashed out at the 5th round stage of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a heavy defeat to French side Catalans Dragons.

The Perpignan based outfit ran in 12 tries in the 68-6 rout, with winger Damien Cardace helping himself to a hat-trick.

Star half-back Scott Dureau was the main thorn in the Eagles side all night, and it was the man of the match who got the Dragons rolling, as he hoisted a kick to the left hand corner where Cardace collected and helped himself to his first try.  Dureau pushed his conversion wide.

The Eagles kept the score at 6-0 for the first 15 minutes with stern defensive effort but never really looked like breaching the Dragons' rearguard, and the lead was extended by Vincent Duport who stretched out to score after the ball was shipped wide from a swift Catalans attack.  Dureau this time hit the target with the conversion.

This try signalled the opening of the floodgates, and Trent Robinson's men ran in another three tries before the half-time break.  England international Leon Pryce scored the first with a cute show-and-go, before Sheffield were caught offside from the resulting kick off, from which Ian Henderson tapped the ball and passed to Cardace for his second try of the game.  Thomas Bosc completed the first-half scoring after Dureau had made the break, and the Dragons' number seven was successful with two out of the three conversion attempts, leaving the visitors' half-time arrears at 26 points.

The second half started as the first half had finished, with the home side on top and emphatically expressing their superiority.  Veteran second-rower Steve Menzies got his name on the scoresheet, bundling over the line from a Pryce offload as the Dragons took the option of a last-tackle powerplay.  Dureau added the extras.

Pryce and Bosc then registered their try doubles, silky footwork proving to be Pryce's beneficiary, poor Eagles defence aiding Bosc.  It was Cardace who made the break from his own half, before throwing a speculative ball inside which eventually ended up in the arms Menzies who supplied Bosc with the walk-in try.  With Dureau's two conversions, the score was 44-0.

Sheffield's only real opportunity in the first stanza fell to Vinny Finigan who grounded in-goal from a Simon Brown kick, but the Eagles winger got on the scoresheet in the second period, scoring the visitors' only try of the game, although it was arguably the best of the day.  Menzie Yere escaped the clutches of the Catalans defence on the left flank and flicked an audacious ball to Finigan who suddenly had grass to run in to.  A frightening change of pace from the former Bradford man allowed him to get away from Bosc and touch down close to the posts to the jubilation of the travelling Eagles fans behind the sticks.  Brown added the extra two points.

The Dragons didn't bat an eyelid however, and continued to dominate the game, scoring four more tries before referee Robert Hicks put Sheffield out of their misery.

Eloi Pelissier scored a try either side of Cardace's hat-trick effort.  The first came after a sublime offload from Henderson, Pelissier stepping inside the tackler to score.  Cardace then sprinted 70 metres to score after Setaimata Sa put him through a huge gap from the kick off, before Pelissier provided the support play for Bosc after a punishing drive for Steve Menzies.  Dureau continued his run of conversions with two more successful attempts.

The Eagles continued to toil away in the Perpignan heat as the end drew near, but there was time for one more score for Catalans, Dureau capping a fine performance by stepping through the defensive line on halfway and allowing winger Cyril Stacul to get on the scoresheet.  The scrum-half's conversion made the final score Catalans Dragons 68-6 Sheffield Eagles.

Dragons: Bosc, Stacul, Duport, Millard, Cardace, Pryce, Dureau, Ferriol, Henderson, Simon, Menzies, Sa, Baitieri.  Replacements: Casty, Raguín, Pelissier, Fakir.

Eagles: Turner, Finigan, Yere, Taulapapa, Morrison, Brown, Brambani, Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Knowles, Hirst.  Replacements: Green, Higgins, Scott, Rowe.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2012 12:33