Match Report – Catalans Dragons

Category: On The Pitch

Match Report – Catalans Dragons

Hull KR produced a limp performance as they suffered a 34-4 defeat to Catalans Dragons in Perpignan.

It meant a fifth straight loss for the Robins, who look a shadow of the team that performed so well against St Helens and Wigan Warriors.

KR reporter James O’Brien delivers the verdict.


It is little wonder Hull KR fans believe the club is cursed.

If it is not injury crises, it is watching former players move on and suddenly become world beaters.

The Salford Red Devils squad features a host of ex-Rovers men and Friday night represented a reunion with two players who failed to leave their mark at Craven Park.

Joel Tomkins left suddenly at the end of last year to be closer to his family before eventually moving to the south of France.

It must have been galling for Rovers fans to watch the back-rower score a hat-trick before half-time, the first created by former half-back Josh Drinkwater.

The Dragons did not have to get out of first gear, they simply waited for the Robins to shoot themselves in the foot.

It was a worrying performance and up there with the worst Rovers have delivered all season, yet it could have been different had they taken an early chance.

In the build-up Ben Crooks urged KR to back themselves from the first whistle and they did just that, with the full-back backing up his words with a blistering break from deep.

He had a man on either side and ultimately took the wrong option as Nathaniel Peteru was dragged down just short, with the temptation to have a second effort proving too strong.

That chance came in the opening couple of minutes and was as good as it got for Rovers.

Catalans quickly took control – helped by some questionable calls from referee Jack Smith – and went close to breaking the deadlock when Samisoni Langi knocked on reaching for the line.

The opening try came in the 22nd minute and typically two former KR men were involved, Drinkwater’s kick into the in-goal area pounced on by Tomkins.

The former Rovers captain did not have to wait long for his second, taking advantage of a misread by Jordan Abdull to coast through the hole he created.

Smith continued to penalise the Robins heavily and another penalty allowed James Maloney to point to the sticks, with the half-back duly knocking over the goal.

Worse was to come for Rovers in the closing stages of the half as it all unravelled.

Tomkins may have left Craven Park under a cloud but he received a gift from his former club in the shape of a third try that completed his hat-trick.

A loose offload on the last gave KR the ball close to their own line but a wild pass from Matty Storton went to ground and Tomkins touched down.

The Dragons made it back-to-back tries on the stroke of half-time as Tom Davies streaked away down the right and planted the ball down in the corner.

Maloney converted to make it 22-0 and for the fourth week running the game was over by half-time.

Rovers started strongly after the restart – as they often do – and thought they had scored in the corner through Nick Rawsthorne, only for officials to rule that he had a foot in touch.

The Dragons scored next on the back of a fine break by Sam Tomkins, with Israel Folau taking advantage of soft defence to dance his way over on the next play.

KR were in real danger of being nilled but found a way over 12 minutes from time, debutant Rowan Milnes giving Harvey Livett an easy finish with a lovely delayed pass.

Curiously Rawsthorne took the conversion and duly hooked it, with the muddled thinking in the Rovers camp of late summed up when Weller Hauraki put a bomb up on the last inside his own half.

Maloney knocked over a late penalty but there was still time for Davies to round off a miserable night in Perpignan for the Robins.

Catalans: Sam Tomkins, David Mead, Samisoni Langi, Israel Folau, Tom Davies, Josh Drinkwater, James Maloney, Sam Moa, Micky McIlorum, Remi Casty, Joel Tomkins, Benjamin Jullien, Benjamin Garcia.

Bench: Julian Bousquet, Mickael Goudemand, Jason Baitieri, Sam Kasiano

Hull KR: Ben Crooks, Will Tate, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Kane Linnett, Nick Rawsthorne, Jordan Abdull, Rowan Milnes, Weller Hauraki, Matt Parcell, Mitch Garbutt, Nathaniel Peteru, Matty Storton, George Lawler.

Bench: Kyle Trout, Matty Gee, George King, Harvey Livett.

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