Super League: Catalan Dragons thrash Bradford Bulls in France
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: 24/05/14 5:36pm
Catalan Dragons pushed themselves into Super League's top eight - for 24 hours at least - with a 46-4 thrashing of Bradford at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The French side gained a modicum of revenge for their Tetley's Challenge Cup exit at the hands of the same opponents, running in eight tries with Thomas Bosc converting all-but one of them.
The impressive Morgan Escare began the scoring inside 40 seconds and added another at the start of the second half to take his tally for the season to 13.
Former Bull Elliott Whitehead also touched down during an opening quarter that the saw the Dragons run hot against a sieve-like Bradford defence that came mightily close to shipping a half-century of points for a third successive outing.
Zeb Taia's offload back inside set up the early try for Escare as the full-back easily went around opposite number Lee Gaskell, who was then involved in a mix-up with Jamie Foster for the second Dragons try soon after.
The pair became confused over who exactly was going to deal with Leon Pryce's bomb, with neither taking control. Their dallying allowed the ball to bounce, with second rower Whitehead rushing in to gratefully accept the opportunity.
As if that wasn't bad enough for Bradford, the re-start saw them allow Michael Oldfield to break free and ghost past a horribly exposed Gaskell, who must have felt like King Canute trying in vain to turn back the tide. Not even the presence of a dog on the field before Bosc could take his conversion attempt could raise a smile amongst the visiting players behind the uprights.
They did at least pose a threat as the first half wore on, Jordan Baldwinson twice going close on debut while a succession of drop-outs put some pressure on.
Yet for all their huffing and puffing the Bulls were unable to find a way through, and the second half started in similar fashion to the first when Escare, who had earlier taken a hit from Manase Manuokafoa that resulted in the prop being placed on report, glided over to complete his brace.
Pryce set up Mickael Simon to cross underneath the uprights before Bradford managed to finally get off the mark in the 52nd minute, Foster diving over in the left corner for a try he failed to convert.
Still, the Dragons continued to be ruthless through to the final hooter, crossing three more times to do further damage to their rivals' points difference.
Daryl Millard showed superb footwork to collect Jean-Phillippe Baile's kick to the left, the centre tip-toeing next to the whitewash to stay in play before planting the ball down with his left hand.
Pryce breached a tired Bradford line to get a score his personal performance deserved, as too did Taia when he was allowed to pluck Bosc's kick out of the air under no pressure whatsoever.
Les Catalans - who could slip back out of the play-off places if Hull KR defeat London Broncos on Sunday - would have hit the 50-point mark had Jeff Lima not bounced the ball in his attempts to ground next to the posts. It was a small crumb of comfort on another difficult day in another tough year for Bradford.
First Utility Super League
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants38 - 14Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings46 - 16Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes 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 WarriorsvsHull 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 DevilsvsHuddersfield 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 DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield 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
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Super League 2014, round 14
Nathan Brown was delighted after St Helens claimed a seven-try 40-16 victory over Wakefield Wildcats.
Wakefield forward Chris Annakin and Widnes winger Paddy Flynn will both miss games after being punished by the RFL.
Chris Annakin, Ben Westwood, Justin Carney and Paddy Flynn have been charged by following Sunday's Super League action.
- Smith hails 'exciting' Currie
- Sandercock never worried
- Betts: Fight changed game
- Wolves devour Wildcats
- Tigers show their stamina
- Rovers too strong for Broncos
- Slick Stormers thrash Cheetahs
- Cummins: We were embarrassing
- McDermott hails superb Ward
- Brown happy with turnaround
- Saints end Huddersfield run
- Rhinos too tough for Hull
- Rovers v Broncos: Teams
- Tigers v Vikings: Teams
- Wildcats v Wolves: Teams
- Cummins: Better times ahead
- Wane delighted with win
- Warriors ease past Salford
- Luke wary of Saints backlash
- Dragons v Bulls: Teams
- Saints v Giants: Teams
- Rhinos v Hull FC: Teams
- Red Devils v Warriors: Teams