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Challenge Cup: Hull KR 18 Catalans 20

Two tries from Leon Pryce helped Catalan Dragons book their place in the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a thrilling 20-18 victory Hull KR.
Challenge Cup: Hull KR 18 Catalans 20
by NRL

Two tries from Leon Pryce helped Catalan Dragons book their place in the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a thrilling 20-18 victory Hull KR.

The Dragons held off a stirring second-half comeback from the Robins, who actually outscored their opponents four tries to three only for three missed conversions by Michael Dobson to prove costly.

Catalan's first-half performance turned out to be just enough as they made the most of the strong wind behind them to score three tries and establish a 20-0 lead at the break.

Catalan opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Pryce.

His close-range effort silenced MS3 Craven Park, with no visiting fans in the away end which is being prepared for the new north stand. Scott Dureau's conversion gave the Dragons a 6-0 lead.

Blake Green was making his first appearance of the season after recovering from a blood clot and he almost marked his return with a try in the 14th minute, but Phil Bentham ruled his effort out for a knocking on when Green tried to ground the ball.

But the majority of the game was being played at the opposite end of the pitch where Rovers were called upon to defend their line for long periods.

Helped by errors and penalties by the hosts, Catalan tried hard to get over for their second score, but neither Dureau or his half-back partner Pryce could find a way through.

A forward pass prevented Louis Anderson from getting free, while Setaimata Sa and David Ferriol should have displayed better handling skills when closing in on Rovers' line.

When Catalan opted for two points when presented with a penalty in front of the posts, Dureau knocked over the kick with ease for an 8-0 lead.

Playing into a strong head wind, Rovers looked like getting to half-time just 8-0 down until a moment of brilliance from Pryce.

Anticipating Josh Hodgson was going to jump out from marker, Pryce chipped through from 30 metres and grounded his own kick untouched. Dureau's conversion made it 14-0.

Catalan were looking good for a place in the fifth round, especially when Ian Henderson went over for Catalan's third try of the half and their second in three minutes.

Henderson capitalised after Sam Latus knocked on when gathering a Dureau high bomb as the wind caused problems for the players. But Dureau judged the wind perfectly to land his fourth goal of the half to leave Rovers 20-0 adrift at the break.

Scott Taylor started the fightback for Rovers, following up his two tries in the 18-10 win at Salford with another after a superb run from Rhys Lovegrove, whose powerful drive dragged Catalan's defence out of position for Taylor to score.

Dobson converted to bring Rovers back into the game.

The try rejuvenated the home side. After a sustained period of pressure on the Dragons' line, Green backed himself to score with his show-and-go move.

Dobson's conversion rebounded off a post.

Green grew in confidence throughout the game and his 40/20 provided the platform for Hodgson to score Rovers' third try of the half down the left wing.

Hodgson went over from close range after spotting a gap from dummy half.

Dobson however, missed his second successive conversion to leave the Robins trailing 20-14.

The try of the game came in the 70th minute when Liam Salter's tackle forced an error from Sa before Craig Hall advanced the ball to the halfway line.

He found Dobson who in turn sent Kris Welham away before delivering the scoring pass for Latus in the left-hand corner.

But Dobson's missed conversion left Catalan still two points in front and the visitors managed to hold on as Rovers' fine fightback fell just short.

Hull Kingston Rovers 18
T: Scott Taylor, Blake Green, Josh Hodgson, Sam Latus
G: Michael Dobson

Catalan Dragons 20
T: Leon Pryce 2, Ian Henderson
G: Scott Dureau 4

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