Tom Johnstone excels as Super League’s top try scorer this season with 20 tries so far
Betfred Super League
Catalans Dragons (20) 38
Tries: Mourgue, Garcia 2, Johnstone 2, Romano Goals: Mourgue 7
Leigh Leopards (18) 30
Tries: Chamberlain 2, Charnley, Ipape, Briscoe Goals: Reynolds 5
The Catalans Dragons, leaders of the Super League, prevailed against fellow title contenders Leigh Leopards in a nail-biting game, further asserting their dominance at the top of the table with a two-point lead.
Tom Johnstone’s milestone of 100 Super League tries, along with contributions from Arthur Mourgue and Benjamin Garcia, gave the Dragons a firm grip on the game.
However, a swift double from Ed Chamberlain and Josh Charnley’s try ensured a slim Dragons lead of 20-18 at the end of the first half.
Arthur Romano’s try, coupled with additional efforts from Garcia and Johnstone, clinched the win for the Dragons, breaking Leigh’s impressive streak of nine consecutive wins.
The Leopards led briefly late in the second half, following scores from Edwin Ipape and Tom Briscoe, but were ultimately overpowered by the Dragons, who secured the game with two tries in the final 14 minutes.
An early double from Mourgue and Garcia in the first four minutes placed the Perpignan-based Dragons in control, leaving the Leopards trailing.
Full-back Mourgue successfully converted both tries and followed up with a penalty, setting the tone for a dominant start from Steve McNamara’s team.
Johnstone, partnering with Romano, achieved his 100th try in English top-flight rugby with his 19th of the season.
Leigh retaliated fiercely, matching the hosts’ stunning start as Chamberlain scored twice in seven minutes, and Charnley matched Johnstone’s season’s tally of 19 tries, making the score 20-18.
Romano managed a close-range try just after half-time, giving the hosts a promising start to the second half. However, the visitors showed resilience with Ipape scoring a counter-try following a strong defensive showing.
Briscoe’s try, 22 minutes before the end, temporarily put Leigh in the lead, but their victory was cut short as Garcia and Johnstone responded, taking his Super League try tally to 101 and his season total to 20. This denied the Leopards their maiden league win against the French club.
In the post-match reactions, Steve McNamara, the Catalans Dragons coach, voiced his satisfaction over the team’s start and end, despite nearly letting the game slip away. He described the game as a “reality check” for the team, highlighting their need to improve their defence if they were to maintain their top position in the competition.
Adrian Lam, coach of the Leigh Leopards, expressed mixed feelings of frustration and pride. Despite a rocky start, he commended his team’s courage and character to claw back the initial 20-point deficit. He maintained that with a little luck towards the end, they could have edged the game.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Catalans Dragons victory
Who won the match between the Catalans Dragons and the Leigh Leopards?
The Catalans Dragons emerged victorious in the match against the Leigh Leopards with a score of 38-30.
Who was the leading try scorer for this season?
Tom Johnstone is the leading try scorer for this season with 20 tries.
Who scored the 100th Super League try in this match?
Tom Johnstone scored his 100th Super League try in this match.
How many tries did Benjamin Garcia score in the match?
Benjamin Garcia scored two tries in the match.
Who was the coach of Catalans Dragons in this match?
The coach of Catalans Dragons in this match was Steve McNamara.
Did the Leigh Leopards ever lead in this game?
Yes, the Leigh Leopards led briefly in the second half of the game, but they were ultimately defeated by the Catalans Dragons.
What was Leigh Leopards’ winning streak before this match?
The Leigh Leopards had a nine-game winning streak before this match.