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Leeds 20 Catalan 12

A late try by Danny McGuire on his return from a broken leg helped Leeds Rhinos get back to winning ways as they edged out Catalan Dragons 20-12.
Leeds 20 Catalan 12

A late try by Danny McGuire on his return from a broken leg helped Leeds Rhinos get back to winning ways as they edged out Catalan Dragons 20-12.

Ryan Hall's clever run allowed Leeds to open the scoring after a cagey first half-hour, and Kevin Sinfield converted before he added a penalty goal for an 8-0 lead for the hosts at the break.

Catalan hit back when Lopini Paea crossed and another score by Olivier Elima gave the visitors a second-half lead, but Mitch Achurch's fine try saw Leeds regain the lead before McGuire sealed the win in the dying stages.

Leeds welcomed back McGuire as he made his first appearance since breaking his leg in May while forward Ryan Bailey returned but Rob Burrow missed out due to a back injury.

Sydney Roosters-bound prop Remi Casty returned for Catalan after he missed the home win against Wigan Warriors through injury.

The home side immediately showed their intent by collecting the ball from their own kick-off, though the momentum was lost when Bailey knocked on.

Catalan turned the screw straight away as Ian Henderson broke down the blindside, but he did not choose the right option and Thomas Bosc was brought down and subsequently lost possession.

Both sides were showing a willingness to throw the ball around in their own half, but a wonderful passing move for the Dragons was halted when Damien Blanch kicked aimlessly ahead.

Tempers flared in the 26th minute which led to Leeds' Bailey and the Dragons' Blanch were sin-binned by referee Phil Bentham.

One minute later Hall showed his intelligence by exposing the blindside in Blanch's absence, racing down the side-line from dummy-half and stepping inside Catalan's Brent Webb for the opening score.

Sinfield converted and, on the back of an epic run by Joel Moon, the Leeds captain added a penalty goal before the break despite receiving a knock to his shoulder.

At the start of the second half Vincent Duport earned his side great field position after a penalty which led to the Dragons being camped on the Rhinos' line, before Scott Dureau provided an excellent short pass for Paea to cross.

Bosc reduced Leeds' lead to two points with the conversion but Leeds regained the momentum and went close when Brad Singleton was held up.

However, Elima barged over from close range for Catalan moments later to give the French side the lead as he exposed some poor defence by the hosts, and Bosc converted to give the Dragons a four-point lead.

Bosc missed the opportunity to extend the lead after an Elliott Whitehead interception led to a penalty.

Leeds then dominated a frantic period of the game late on and punished the French side with eight minutes remaining, with Liam Sutcliffe sending Achurch on his way and the big prop raced through to score.

Sinfield converted to give the home side the lead and then created McGuire's late score which sealed the win.

Leeds Rhinos 20
Tries: Ryan Hall, Mitch Achurch, Danny McGuire
Goals: Kevin Sinfield 4

Catalan Dragons 12
Tries: Lopini Paea, Oliver Elima
Goals: Thomas Bosc 2

Date: Friday 30th August 2013
Venue: Headingley Carnegie Stadium
Crowd: 15,576
Referee: P Bentham
Half Time: Leeds 8-0

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