Inspired Leigh thrash high-flying Catalans

Betfred Super League

Leigh (6) 30

Tries: Charnley, O'Donnell 2, Hanley, Moylan Goals: Moylan 5

Catalans (2) 2

Goals: Mourgue

Leigh Leopards put in an inspired performance to secure their first-ever Super League win over Catalans and deny the Dragons a return to top spot.

Josh Charnley crossed and Matt Moylan added the extras, while the wasteful Catalans were restricted to an Arthur Mourgue penalty as Leigh led 6-2 at the break.

Kai O’Donnell and Umyla Hanley crossed in the space of four minutes after the break and Moylan continued his perfect evening off the tee to put Leigh 18-2 up going into the final quarter.

Last season’s runners-up remained try-less and wilted further as O’Donnell crossed again and Moylan sprinted over to take his personal tally to 14 points and cap a memorable win for the hosts.

Leigh had won just one of their opening seven Super League fixtures as Catalans sought a sixth straight win to leapfrog St Helens back to the top.

But the Leopards’ season lifted off in spectacular fashion with a win which keeps them in ninth but promises much more, while Catalans remain second, behind Saints on points difference, after a chastening defeat.

Catalans bossed a cagey opening quarter but wasted a golden chance when Tariq Sims dropped the ball on the goalline - it would prove the story of their night.

Ben McNamara’s try-saving tackle proved the turning point as the bustling Tom Amone collected Sims’ attempted kick through and scorched away upfield into Catalans territory.

A swift next play was worked out to the left, allowing O’Donnell to give Charnley a clear run to the left corner after 26 minutes.

Arthur Romano sprinted over from close range as Catalans responded, but the score was chalked off for a Tom Johnstone knock-on in retrieving a high kick.

Steve McNamara’s side lacked cutting edge and struggled to turn good field position into points as Leigh defended ferociously, but they at least got on the scoreboard on the stroke of half-time through Mourgue’s boot.

Yet Catalans continued to make mistakes after the break and Leigh seized their chance with two enterprising tries in four minutes.

Lachlan Lam switched play smartly back to the short side, allowing Moylan to send O’Donnell in at the left corner before Moylan’s wonderful looped pass found Hanley in acres of space to walk in his 10th try of the season.

Moylan added two superb touchline conversions to give Leopards a 16-point lead, and the home fans erupted again moments later when captain John Asiata came off the bench for his first action in eight weeks following a calf injury.

Leigh ensured a first home Super League win of the season when Brad Dwyer’s mesmerising run carved open the visitors and teed up O’Donnell for his second finish of the night.

Asiata then had his moment to underline a dream night for the hosts, his pass back inside opening up the Catalans defence for Moylan to sprint through and scorch to the line.

Leigh: Moylan, Hanley, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley, McNamara, Lam, Amone, Davis, Trout, O'Donnell, Halton, Hughes.

Interchanges: Norman, Holmes, Asiata, Dwyer.

Catalans: Mourgue, Davies, Ikuvalu, Romano, Johnstone, Rouge, Fages, Seguier, Da Costa, Navarrete, Sims, Sironen, Garcia.

Interchanges: Laguerre, Nikorima, Satae, Maria.

Referee: Aaron Moore.