Resilient Catalans Dragons Overcome Struggling Leeds Rhinos in Super League Clash

The Leeds Rhinos suffered a 26-0 defeat at the hands of the league-leading Catalans Dragons in Perpignan, with the visitors struggling to mount any real offensive threat against the resilient French side. Lachie Miller’s forgettable performance compounded the Rhinos’ woes, as the Catalans made the most of their home advantage to secure a comfortable victory.

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Rhinos Stumble in Perpignan as Catalans Claim 26-0 Victory

On Saturday evening, the Leeds Rhinos suffered a 26-0 defeat at the hands of the Catalans Dragons in Perpignan. Rohan Smith’s side has now lost five of their first 11 matches in the current Super League season.

The Round 11 clash was not exactly a thrilling affair, but there were several talking points that emerged from the game, as outlined in this Debrief.

Dismal Leeds Rhinos Attack

The Rhinos were previously thumped 61-0 when they last visited the Stade Gilbert Brutus back in September, a match that saw Sam Tomkins add insult to injury with a late drop goal.

While the Rhinos’ defensive performance was not as disastrous this time around, with two of the Dragons’ four tries coming in the final five minutes as Leeds evidently tired, the visitors’ attack remained stagnant. The Catalans were far from their clinical best, fumbling numerous opportunities earlier in the game, but Leeds were simply unable to trouble the hosts’ defense.

Smith’s side lacked the necessary quality in attack, and whenever they managed to get themselves into decent positions, errors and mistakes crept in. Even taking injuries into account, the Rhinos’ offensive display was far from good enough, a sentiment that has been echoed several times already this Super League season.

Lachie Miller’s Nightmare Outing

Lachie Miller has been a standout performer for Leeds so far this season since his arrival at Headingley, but the Australian had a game to forget in Perpignan.

It started with an early dropped high ball, and the woes only continued from there. Miller struggled in both defense and attack, most notably dropping a ball when Leeds were attempting to mount a late comeback, having been awarded a fresh set of six deep in the Dragons’ half.

Compounding his woes, Miller was also sat on his backside by Arthur Mourgue as the Dragons scored their penultimate try, summing up a truly forgettable evening for the Rhinos player.

Catalans Dragons Make Home Advantage Count

While Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin believed the Catalans’ performance warranted a score of “five or six out of 10”, the fact that they remain joint-top of the Super League table with 8 wins from 11 games demonstrates their ability to get the job done, even when not at their best.

The Dragons tend to thrive on home turf, particularly as the temperatures rise in the south of France, and they did so again against the Rhinos. After suffering recent defeats away to Leigh Leopards and Wigan Warriors, the Catalans have returned to winning ways and have three of their next four matches at home, with the other being a trip to league leaders St Helens. The next few weeks could be pivotal for Steve McNamara’s side.

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