Super League: Catalan Dragons 46-18 London Broncos

Scott Dureau

Catalan Dragons (16) 46

Tries:
Vaccari 2, Escare 2, Dureau, Millard, Taia, Pryce
Goals:
Dureau 7

London Broncos (12) 18

Tries:
Bailey, Witt, Dixon
Goals:
Witt 3

Scott Dureau made a happy return to action at the Etihad Stadium to guide Catalan Dragons to success over London Broncos in the Magic Weekend opener.

The Aussie half-back scored a try and also kicked seven of his nine attempts at goal in his first game

Frederic Vaccari and Morgan Escare both bagged a brace, with further tries from Daryl Millard, Zeb Taia and Leon Pryce.

London's tries came from Chris Bailey, Michael Witt and Kieran Dixon.

The return of 26-year-old former Newcastle Knights scrum-half Dureau to the Dragons line-up for his first game of the season was a major boost to coach Laurent Frayssinous, particularly with Thomas Bosc injured.

He was heavily involved throughout, triggered by the first score of the game when he intercepted Ben Fisher's loose pass to find the whitewash from close in.

The lead was doubled when ingenuity from Escare, coupled with defensive frailty from Jamie O'Callaghan, saw the French full-back chip into space and hack on to score, with the Broncos centre stranded.

Tony Rea's side regrouped, responding with two scores of their own, both prompted by former Kangaroos Test scrum-half Craig Gower.

First Bailey juggled a short pass before touching down, and then Witt took in a fumbled chip from the influential Gower before jinking his way to the line.

Both sides made handling errors when well placed in an open half which Dragons finished 16-12 ahead, after Dureau's diagonal kick into space was gathered by Millard for the third try after another mistake by O'Callaghan.

London began the second period with similar intent, forcing another drop-out from Gower's clever kick but again Catalans struck first, Kevin Larroyer feeding a gem of a ball out the back of his hand for Vaccari to score out wide.

Vincent Duport's persistence took him close to the line, but he could not release Millard, and only scrambling cover stopped Vaccari from grabbing a second after Dureau clipped in behind.

Frayssinous's side then cranked up the pressure, pulling out of sight with ruthless finishing.

Dureau found the mark from a two-pointer to take Catalans two scores clear and, after Lopini Paea, Dureau and Steve Menzies combined, Vaccari again nipped in at the corner.

Escare completed his brace of tries from good work by Taia and, despite the nippy Dixon chipping through to score for London, late tries from Taia and Pryce took Catalans past 40 points.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous told BBC Sport:

"We got there in the end, in the last 30 minutes. I wasn't happy in the first half, even though we were leading.

"Their short kicking game was good and they were coming forward too easily but we were better in the second half.

"Scott Dureau coming back is a boost for me and for his team-mates and I am happy he's back.

"He's been out for five or six months and has not been training with us. But you don't lose it. It's like riding a bicycle. He is still so sharp and smart."

London Broncos coach Tony Rea told BBC Sport:

"I've seen enough good things that will stand us in good stead.

"But I think we're just lacking a bit of confidence, one of those intangibles in sport.

"We're short of belief and, as a group, we've got to believe in ourselves and each other.

"I've got a feeling good form is just around the corner."

SATURDAY'S MAGIC WEEKEND LINE-UPS

Catalan Dragons: Escare; Millard, Menzies, Duport, Vaccari; Pryce, Dureau; Paea, Henderson, Casty, Taia, Anderson, Mounis.

Replacements: Pelissier, Bousquet, Fakir, Larroyer.

London Broncos: Robertson; O'Callaghan, Howell, Sarginson, Dixon; Witt, Gower; Wheeldon, Fisher, Cook, McMeeken, Rodney, Bailey.

Replacements: Bryant, Mendeika, Krasniqi, Grady.

Referee: Tim Roby (RFL).