Magic Weekend: London Broncos edged out by Catalan Dragons
Last Updated: 17/05/14 3:16pm
London Broncos' Maxime Herold is tackled by Catalan Dragons' Morgan Escare
Josh Drinkwater's failed conversion of his own try denied London what would have been a first point of the 2014 season as they lost the Magic Weekend opener 24-22 to Catalan Dragons.
The scrum-half's show-and-go score with seven minutes left had looked set to bring his side level for a second time but he was unable to nail his conversion from just to the right of the posts.
It was rough justice on Drinkwater and London, who had looked set to finally break their duck for the season at the 13th time of asking.
They trailed 18-6 and 24-18 during the afternoon and new coach Joe Grima will surely feel - like many of the neutrals inside the Etihad Stadium did - that they deserved more.
Nothing was what they got, though, which belied their performance.
Despite their own wretched form and a 10-game losing run against the Catalans going against them, London battled manfully early on and managed to more than hold their own before scoring the first try.
After a series of close calls, near-misses and handling errors, full-back Ben Farrar arrived into the attacking line at the perfect moment before standing a ball up for the onrushing Mason Caton-Brown who did the rest. Drinkwater converted from wide out.
Catalan tried to respond but Leon Pryce saw his pass after a break tapped down - typical of his side's opening to the game - but they found the right combination to get on the board eight minutes before the break.
A Thomas Bosc kick was gathered by Vincent Duport who clung on to mark his 100th Super League appearance with a try. Bosc's conversion levelled the scores.
Catalan did not necessarily deserve to be level and were even more fortunate to find themselves ahead at the break. Normally Elliott Whitehead's attempted offload would have gone to ground but, with two minutes of the half left, it hit a defender's body and rebounded back to him with the line open.
London should have hit back eight minutes after the break but poor play from centre Thomas Minns robbed them of the chance. He broke through and had a simple overlap pass to Denny Solomona. He chose instead to go himself and was shut down.
Zeb Taia then did the same thing at the other end as the quality continued to remain well below average, before Catalan got a third with Jeff Lima's first try for the club, the former Wigan man going over the top of Farrar from close range.
It appeared as though London were done for at that stage, but Caton-Brown gave them a puncher's chance of a comeback with a strong run with 16 minutes left and just after that James Greenwood showed great courage to drag himself over. Drinkwater converted both to bring the scores together at 18-all.
London had the majority of the neutrals on their side at this point but that could not help them as Catalan decided to turn it up a notch again, with Michael Oldfield going clear down the right and passing inside to the supporting Whitehead.
It then appeared as though momentum was back with London as Drinkwater threw a dummy and then slipped through the gap it created, only for his poor conversion attempt to undo his good work.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Magic Weekend 2014, round 13
Jason Crookes will face a disciplinary committee to answer a Grade B charge following his sending-off at the weekend.
Stevo salutes Magic Weekend's 'rugby league bonanza' and hopes it can return to Etihad Stadium.
Highlights from Sunday's Magic Weekend matches including Huddersfield's win over Bradford.
- Wellens upset with loss
- Warrington back to their best
- Ferres return thrills Anderson
- Giants run riot against Bulls
- Tigers in talks over Sneyd
- Cas thrash woeful Wildcats
- Wane hails wounded Warriors
- Warriors battle past Rhinos
- Rovers claim bragging rights
- Betts: We showed character
- Vikings too strong for Salford
- London boss defends Drinkwater
- Flanagan targets league shield
- Wildcats v Tigers: Teams
- Wolves v Saints: Teams
- Giants v Bulls: Teams
- Morley - Red Devils improving
- Vikings v Red Devils: Teams
- Wildcats grab Tiger Owen
- Jones-Buchanan: Leeds firing
- Grima still upbeat on survival
- Shenton seeks magic formula
- Returning Ferres fired up
- Radford: Rovers the favourites