Super League: Catalan Dragons dent Bradford Bulls' play-off hopes
Last Updated: 11/08/13 6:14pm
Thomas Bosc: Late drop-kick won game for Dragons
Thomas Bosc's late drop-goal sealed a vital 23-22 win for Catalan Dragons over Bradford in the race for the play-offs.
The hosts had raced into an 18-4 half-time lead thanks to a brace of tries from Keith Lulia and a Brett Kearney touchdown.
But the Dragons battled back after the break, with tries from replacement Jamal Fakir, Brent Webb and Ian Henderson - all converted by Thomas Bosc, who then kicked the drop-goal to seal the win.
The victory leaves the visitors sixth in the Super League table, while the Bulls remain in ninth, four points off the play-offs with three games to go.
On a day when all the pre-match headlines centred around Elliott Whitehead's return to Odsal after his acrimonious departure earlier this year, it was the boot of Bosc that snatched the victory for the Dragons in a game they looked well out of at half-time.
The Bulls were unchanged from last weekend's victory over Wakefield but the Dragons - without influential duo Morgan Escare and Scott Dureau - showed five changes to their line-up as they sought their second win in six games.
In contrast, the home side have been in good form of late, and they took the lead in the fifth minute when Lulia - who is set to return to the NRL with Wests Tigers at the end of this year - took a superb ball from Danny Addy to crash over.
The Dragons hit back as a neat kick from the returning Webb saw Mathias Pala ground the ball in the corner, but Bosc missed the conversion.
The Bulls struck again after 15 minutes, full-back Kearney starting and finishing a fine sweeping move to go in under the posts. The hosts then extended their lead to 14 points seven minutes later when Lulia went in for his second as he shrugged off the attentions of three Dragons defenders in the corner.
But the Dragons grabbed the first score of the second period to bring the game alive once more. A magnificent break from Lopini Paea laid the platform before Fakir did the rest to make it 18-10.
The Dragons had all the momentum as the second half wore on, and Whitehead came desperately close to scoring against his former club before the visitors finally made their pressure tell in the 61st minute when Leon Pryce's superb inside ball to Webb brought the Bulls' lead down to just two.
The see-saw nature of the game continued as Pala spilled Luke Gale's chip and after a couple of near misses, Kearney sent Adrian Purtell through a gap and over the try-line.
The big moment arrived in the 73rd minute though, when Kearney was sin-binned for holding down Whitehead in the tackle. Henderson, another former Bradford man, took full advantage by scooting over from dummy-half to level it up.
And Bosc stole it with just three minutes left on the clock to put a serious dent in the Bulls' play-off ambitions.
First Utility Super League
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan Warriors30 - 20Warrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St Helens16 - 41Leeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants38 - 14Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings46 - 16Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Hull FC0 - 0Hull K R
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans Dragons0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Super League 2013, round 24
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Hull FC coach Peter Gentle praised his players after they came from behind to defeat local rivals Hull KR 38-20.
Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous singled out Elliott Whitehead after the 23-22 win over Bradford.
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