Highlights of the Super League match between Leeds Rhinos and Catalans Dragons
Catalans coach Steve McNamara has slammed the “pathetic” decision to chase Mitchell Pierce against Leeds as the Dragons claimed their second successive Premier League win over Petfried.
Australian full-back Pierce received a yellow card by referee Jack Smith in the 66th minute after a strong intervention on the wing of the rhinoceros Liam Tindall.
The Catalans survived a penalty shootout to score a 10-4 victory over Headingley thanks to attempts by Fouad Yaha and Joe Chan, but McNamara was not happy with Pierce’s strike.
“I thought it was pathetic,” he said. “It’s a high entry and a penalty but it’s not a sin in our game. I was really disappointed with that decision.
“We all understand the reasons for introducing the rules and we are in complete agreement to protect our players, but we are getting frustrated every minute. We are all confused by certain decisions and this was one decision.”
Steve McNamara, head coach of Catalan Dragons, felt his team deserved to beat Leeds
The Catalans also played most of the second half without England full back Sam Tomkins and will have to wait impatiently to see the extent of his knee injury.
“It wasn’t right before the game,” McNamara said. “He pushed himself to play but he wasn’t right so we took him out.”
McNamara paid tribute to strongman Mike McMillan after watching him lay the groundwork for their victory in Leeds.
Without four specialized matches through injury and suspension, McNamara started the match with former England rower McMicken up front and proved to be a major force for the 2021 Grand Finalists.
“Mike said he was going to play prop and it was unreal,” McNamara said. “His performance was top notch for someone who hasn’t played in that position.
“I’m tired of hearing how many Leeds players are missing, so let’s talk about the players who are playing.
“Paul hasn’t played around this season and he had gastroenteritis for three days but he raised his hand to play because he knew we were in trouble.”
“It was a really tough performance,” McNamara said. “We didn’t play as well as we would have liked in the first two games, but I think we deserved the two points.
“We had to take a lot of pressure and I think we did it very well. With 12 guys at the end we were on our feet but somehow we kept our streak intact.”
Richard Agar believes his Leeds side need to improve their pace and ball movement, and said there are plenty of opportunities they have failed to take advantage of.
A stunning first attempt from Blake Austin gave Leeds the lead but manager Richard Agar admitted that his team’s attacking play was painful at times and they have now lost their first three games.
“We bombarded a bunch of opportunities, especially when the number went down to 12 men,” Agar said.
“After last week I thought the effort was there and our kicking endeavors were good, but our ability to execute was a far cry from reality.
“We sat a lot, sometimes with the ball, it was really painful to watch. It’s something we have to work hard on, we have to work on our suits.
“We were a little short on firepower but we should have people next week who will help us.”
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Already deprived of six starting players through injury and suspension, Leeds took another blow with second rower Alex Mellor losing within three minutes of kick-off.
“He put his head in the wrong place during an intervention and immediately felt it,” Agar said. “He was sent to the hospital as a precaution, so I’m just running my fingers through it.”
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