Catalans hold on to beat resurgent Huddersfield

Harry Rushton scores for Huddersfield v Catalans
Harry Rushton's try for Huddersfield began their remarkable second half comeback []

Betfred Super League

Catalans (22) 22

Tries: Davies, Fages, Romano, Johnstone Goals: Mourgue 3

Huddersfield (0) 18

Tries: Rushton, Golding, Yates Goals: Russell 3

Catalans Dragons survived a sensational second-half comeback from Huddersfield Giants to end a three-game Super League losing run.

The hosts scored two tries in six minutes as Tom Davies and Theo Fages both touched down, with Arthur Romano adding a third inside a quarter of an hour.

Tom Johnstone added to Les Dracs' tally before the break but Harry Rushton finally got Huddersfield on the board after the break.

Ashton Golding scored the Giants' second try in five minutes but although Luke Yates set up a nervy finale, Catalans held on.

The result means the hosts leapfrog Salford Red Devils into fifth place in Super League having recorded their first win since beating Leeds on 11 May.

Defeat for Huddersfield was their sixth in their past eight games in all competitions, with Ian Watson's side finishing the weekend in eighth position.

With just under two minutes on the clock, Catalans carved open the Huddersfield defence via a Fages kick to the corner which was eventually worked to Davies who weaved his way into touching down.

Fages then piled more early misery on his former club as he collected Jordan Abdull's kick, which rebounded off the post, before grounding with relative ease.

Catalans' third made for grim viewing for Huddersfield as Romano was given the time and space to drop down and score, with Kevin Naiqama and Tui Lolohea missing the chance to tackle him before he crossed the line.

Johnstone's score came via a high kick, which he duly collected under pressure and did well to ground cleanly, but half-time seemed to transform Huddersfield, who looked a different side after the break.

Rushton did well to stay standing and beat three defenders for Huddersfield's first score of the evening, while Golding raced Arthur Mourgue to ground a tricky kick to goal for their second try soon after.

Huddersfield's third score came after a tremendous spot from referee Liam Moore to award the try after Adam Milner's offload to Yates rebounded off his face, leading him to run in.

Video referee Aaron Moore correctly judged that Yates had not knocked on, with replays showing the ball actually cannoned off his nose and into his path, leading an emboldened Huddersfield to enter the final 12 minutes just four points behind their suddenly off-the-pace opponents.

Although their efforts came too late, it was a performance to be proud of for the visitors, who came remarkably close to avoiding a ninth league defeat of the campaign when at half-time it looked to be a certainty.

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara:

"It was a really good performance from us in the first half, well-connected and dominant. Completion rates and execution were great.

"It showed the type of team we can be. Unfortunately, the second half showed the type of team we can be too, and that we have been in the last six weeks in lots of areas.

"We got the basics wrong, our completion rate was ridiculously low and our last-play options were poor.

"Huddersfield got some momentum and our old habits returned. We were a bit nervous, a bit anxious but ultimately we did enough to win the game."

Huddersfield head coach Ian Watson:

"Of course I feel the pressure, there’s pressure everywhere in this competition.

"But the resolve and determination shown after the interval, when we came back from 22-0 down to come so close to winning it, means we’re not as bad a team as some people think.

"I’ve told the players that the resolve we showed in the second half is the Huddersfield way, that’s the team we want to be known as.

"We fell well below that in the first half with silly errors, our discipline wasn’t good enough and that’s been our problem all season. When we do the right thing we are more than a match for anyone."

Catalans: Mourgue; Davies, Romano, Ikuvalu, Johnstone; Abdull, Fages; Navarrete, McIlorum, Bousquet, Sims, Seguier, Garcia.

Interchanges: Nikorima, Satae, Dezaria, Maria.

Huddersfield: Lolohea; Halsall, Marsters, Naiqama, Wallis; Russell, Clune; Hill, Milner, Greenwood, Hewitt, Rushton, Yates.

Interchanges: Golding, Wilson, Savelio, Ikahihifo.

Referee: Liam Moore.