Challenge Cup: Catalan Dragons too hot for Hunslet Hawks
Last Updated: 21/04/13 3:35pm
Catalan Dragons overcame the first-half dismissal of Ian Henderson to secure a comfortable 50-12 Challenge Cup victory over the Hunslet Hawks.
The French Super League club scored four tries inside the opening 20 minutes of the match in South Leeds to take control of the match and virtually guarantee their place in the fifth round.
Hunslet could hardly have made a worse start, allowing William Barthau, who scored a hat-trick in the match, to dummy his way over near the posts in the second minute, Thomas Bosc added the conversion.
The Hawks struggled to gain enough possession and a wayward pass from captain David March was intercepted by winger Damien Blanch who raced to the line from deep inside his own half.
The lively Bosc converted his own try and the points continued to flow, with centre Jean-Philippe Baile gathering Bosc's high kick to grab the fourth try.
Hunslet did manage to cross their opponents' line on the half hour but James Houston's pass to prop Andy Yates was ruled forward and normal service was resumed when Bosc kicked through on the last tackle and Mathias Pala palmed the ball back for Zeb Taia to score, Bosc improving the try.
The home side had an opportunity soon after the interval but Jimmy Watson dropped the ball over the line and two minutes later that man Bosc showed his try-making calibre again with a shrewd kick for Baile to snatch his second try, Bosc adding his fourth successful kick.
The Hawks missed the attacking instincts of Luke Helliwell, who only returned late in the game after the heavy challenge which had seen Henderson's dismissal, but they kept plugging away and the luckless Liam Welham was held on his back over the line.
James Houston eventually sent Yates over for the Hawks in the 57th minute, March adding the goal, but Eloi Pelissier crossed for the French on the hour and after Bosc and skipper Gregory Mounis helped to send Barthau over again, the scrum-half completed his hat-trick.
Danny Grimshaw sliced through for Hunslet's second try just before the end, with Helliwell landing the goal.