|Catalans (40) 64|
|Tries: McMeeken 3, Yaha 3, Maloney, J Tomkins, S Tomkins 2, Davies Goals: Maloney 10|
|Leigh (0) 0|
Mike McMeeken and Fouad Yaha both scored a hat-trick of tries as Super League leaders Catalans ran riot against struggling Leigh Centurions.
In a frantic first half, McMeeken and Yaha crossed three times each, with James Maloney’s kicks giving them a whopping 40-0 lead at the break.
Joel and Sam Tomkins combined to further extend the hosts’ advantage.
Tom Davies ran in a late 11th try for Catalans to complete the rout as he ran in with ease under the posts.
The victory strengthens Catalans’ position in top spot and is their 18th win from 20 league games this season.
It also piles on the misery for a Leigh side who have won just once this term and are now closer to an inevitable return to the Championship.
Joel Tomkins got himself on the scoresheet in the second half against his future club, with the Catalans forward primed to join Leigh for next season.
Sam Tomkins’ double and Davies’ solo score right before the hooter – in addition to Maloney’s 20 points with the boot – rounded off a sensational performance for Catalans, who are on track to claim their first League Leaders’ Shield.
Leigh could not stop the dominant Dragons, but there was cause for optimism as new recruit Jai Whitbread made his first Centurions appearance off the bench – just 72 hours after arriving from Australia.
Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara:
“Our attack was pretty perfect in that first half. But there are things we could improve on in that second half.
“However, I cannot criticise the attitude of our senior players over the past few weeks.
“It has been exemplary and although tonight’s game was a little easier than recent challenges, we can take a lot of positives from that.”
Leigh Centurions interim coach Kurt Haggerty:
“[It was] a near-impossible challenge, especially when you go behind so early and give yourselves a mountain to climb.
“At one point it could have been a cricket score, but we managed to hang in there during that second half.
“When you make the errors that we did, missing tackles and giving penalties away, it takes its toll, particularly against a top team like Catalans.”
Catalans: S Tomkins, Davies, Laguerre, Langi, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Goudemand, McMeeken, Corentin, Dezaria, McIlorum, Bousquet.
Interchanges: Mourgue, J Tomkins, Cozza, Chan.
Leigh: Brand, Elliot, Sa’u, Logan, Nisbet, Mellor, Brierley, Thompson, Foster, Hellewell, Butler, Eaves, Mason.
Interchanges: Gerrard, Mullen, Spencer, Whitbread.
Referee: A. Moore.