PA Sport

Carney breathes fire into Dragons

Carney breathes fire into Dragons
By PA Sport

26/04/2015 at 05:34Updated

Todd Carney returned for the Catalans Dragons and inspired them to their first win in three games in a 32-24 First Utility Super League win over Hull KR.

The former Cronulla half-back returned for his first game in six and looked to control the Catalans side, who have misfired so far in 2015.

The hosts also gave a debut to winger Fouad Yaha, while Dane Tilse made his long awaited debut for the visitors - who also gave Sonny Esslemont a Super League debut.

Catalans took the lead through Jason Baitieri after good work by Zeb Taia, Thomas Bosc adding the conversion. However, Rovers responded with Maurice Blair charging over with a solo effort down the left, Josh Mantellato converting from the touchline.

Mantellato added a penalty to give Rovers the lead in the 19th minute, before Ben Cockayne scored in the right corner with a superb team try that saw the ball move from left to right with ease. Mantellato hit the post to leave the score 12-6 to the visitors.

Catalans leveled the game up on the half-hour mark, Gadwin Springer making his second appearance for the Catalans charging over to score, Bosc converting.

The Dragons then took the lead before the break, Michael Oldfield scoring in the right corner after Bosc and Whitehead combined well. Bosc hit the post with the conversion attempt.

A try made in France (and the substitutes bench) came shortly after the interval, Gadwin Springer, Julian Bousquet and Benjamin Garcia all gave the home side field position before Eloi Pelissier crept over from acting half. Bosc converted to extend the Catalans' lead to 10 points.

Rovers refused to go away, on-loan Catalans player Kevin Larroyer broke clear from Terry Campese's pass and Larroyer drew the full-back before passing to the supporting Kieran Dixon. Mantellato converted from in front of the posts to reduce the deficit to 22-18.

Carney then took the ball to the line and his offload rebounded off Larroyer but was picked up by Whitehead, who drew the full-back and offloaded to Ben Garcia who stepped two defenders on his way to the line. Bosc converted to restore the Catalans 10-point lead.

With 11 minutes remaining, Whitehead scored a solo effort from short range, picking up at the play-the-ball to score and give the Catalans an unassailable 14-point lead. Bosc missed the conversion.

Mantellato scored a consolation effort for the visitors with three minutes remaining, diving over to score in the left corner after Ben Cockayne's kick had been collected by Dixon - who threw a wide pass to Mantellato. The scorer converted his own try to complete the scoring.