Batley 4 Catalans 40: Spirited Bulldogs swept aside as Dragons secure quarter-final tie

Alex Brown
Alex Brown
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Catalans Dragons swept into the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-finals despite a battling performance from Championship outfit Batley Bulldogs.

Batley defended superbly in the first half but were unable take advantage of playing down the slope as the Dragons led 12-0 at half-time.

Batley made a good start and when Cain Southernwood’s kick was spilled by full-back Tony Gigot it handed the Bulldogs an excellent attacking chance, but after twice refusing kicks at goal from penalties, they dropped the ball.

Catalans launched a brilliant counter attack as winger Fouad Yaha raced 80 metres to score between the posts. Pat Richards tagged on the simple conversion.

Richie Myler slipped a pass to send Vincent Duport over and Richards landed a towering touchline conversion.

It took Catalans just five minutes after the re-start to extend their advantage as Louis Anderson’s long pass allowed Duport to step out of a tackle and race over behind the posts, with Richards converting.

Myler added his name to the scorers after a break by Willie Mason and lovely inside pass by Duport.

Dave Taylor raced over and Richards goaled before the Dragons added their fifth try in 13 minutes when Gigot crossed and Richards improved as the Super League high fliers extended their lead to 34-0.

Batley battled bravely up the slope and were rewarded with a well worked consolation try.

Keegan Hirst was lifted in a tackle and from the resulting penalty, Batley moved left, Chris Ulugia spun out of a tackle and sent Alex Brown racing over for a try.

Batley had a spell of pressure and Alex Brown twice went close to getting on the end of dangerous kicks.

Catalans had the last word though when Julian Bousquet sent Gigot racing over for his second try and Richards added his sixth goal

Batley Bulldogs: D Scott; Reittie, Ulugia, Bretherton, A Brown; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Davey, J Brown, Chandler, Harrison, Blake. Substitutes: Leak, Lillycrop, Rowe, Peterson.

Catalans Dragons: Gigot; Yaha, Horo, Duport, Richards; Albert, Myler; Taylor, Pelissier, Casty, Stewart, Anderson, Baitieri. Substitutes: Bousquet, Mounis, Bosc, Mason.

Referee: G Hewer (Whitehaven).