Leeds Rhinos continue to search for their first win of the season as they are defeated by Catalans Dragons


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It was a third straight defeat for Richard Agar’s side as Leeds Rhinos fell to defeat at the hands of the Catalans Dragons.

An early try from Fouah Yaha and a second half try from Joe Chan was enough for the French side to edge out an affair that lacked an element of quality for a large majority of the 80 minutes in Yorkshire.

The defeat will be a tough one to take for Richard Agar after wanting to address some ‘poor individual performances’ which he described after the previous defeat to a ruthless Wigan Warriors last time out.

The first half began with a lengthy stoppage as Alex Mellor went down injured and was stationary for a long while. He was eventually stretchered off the pitch with the physios taking every caution with what looked like a nasty injury.

There was not a huge amount of quality in the first 40 with neither side able to take real control of the game.

Catalans looked to break through a couple of times, but Leeds kept recovering well defensively to cover their own openness which allowed the French side to breeze through the middle of the park on a couple of occasions.

The home side did eventually open the scoring at Headingley as Blake Austin scored on his home debut to give the Rhinos the lead. The try took what felt like an age to be given but the video referee did eventually confirm it as the deadlock was finally broken.

However, it was not long before Catalans levelled through Fouad Yaha who piled over down the left and the video referee gave the second try of the night.

The half faded without any real action apart from what looked like a hard hit on Blake, who soon after left the field for a head assessment.

The second half started with Catalans being the better side after the break and it was not long before the French side took the lead in Yorkshire. A try through Joe Chan after Sam Kasiano breezed through the Rhinos defence and set up the try.

The Dragons nearly extended their lead soon after when Josh Drinkwater’s kick evaded the last Leeds defender and was touched down but the try was ruled out by the video referee for a push on Liam Tindall.

The home crowd grew increasingly frustrated as the visitors continued to slow down the momentum of the game, and in particular, the Leeds attacks by keeping the Rhinos players down without receiving too much punishment from referee Jack Smith.

Mitchell Pearce left his side down to 12 men with just over 15 minutes to play after a high tackle from the Catalans man on Tindall, which Coach Steve McNamara later described in his press conference as a ‘pathetic’ decision.

Leeds looked to push towards the end of the 80 minutes for a late leveller but struggled to gain any momentum as Catalans defended well.

The game drew to a close with Leeds failing to make any real attempt towards the Catalans try line, who on the whole deserved the two points which makes it back-to-back wins for the French side.

Next up for the Rhinos is a trip to Wakefield Trinity whilst Catalans face an away trip to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for a clash with Warrington Wolves.

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