Catalan Dragons 68 Sheffield 6: Cardace comes up trumps as Eagles are routed
21:07 GMT, 28 April 2012
Catalan Dragons cruised into the sixth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with an easy win at home to Sheffield Eagles.
The Super League side ran in 12 tries to advance without needing to get out of second gear.
Damien Cardace scored a hat-trick of
tries while Thomas Bosc, Leon Pryce and Eloi Pelissier were all on
target twice in the rout.
Pryce drop: Catalan Dragons Leon Pryce was on target twice
Scott Dureau converted 10 of the tries, while Vinny Finnigan scored the only try for the Co-operative Championship side.
Cardace opened the scoring following a Dureau kick in the 12th minute, and the Dragons added a second six minutes later when the ball was worked to the right-hand side and Vincent Duport powered his way over to touch down.
Pryce then dummied and stepped his way over and after Sheffield were found to be offside from the restart, Cardace raced in to score his second after quick thinking from Ian Henderson.
Bosc completed the first-half scoring when he supported the impressive Dureau's break.
The Dragons continued in dominant fashion after the break with three converted tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, the first from Steve Menzies after good work from Pryce.
Pryce then grabbed his second with an individual effort and Bosc completed his brace after good work by Cardace and Menzies.
The part-time visitors then registered their only points of the evening with Finigan finishing a fine move and Simon Brown converting.
From then on it was all Catalan as Pelissier collected Michael Simon's outstanding offload to score, with Dureau again converting.
Cardace then completed his hat-trick with an 80-metre break from Dureau's pass, Pelissier added his second in the 68th minute before Dureau's break and pass to Cyril Stacul completed the rout.
Dragons coach Trent Robinson hailed the professionalism of his side.
He said: 'I thought we prepared well for today, we had to recover a lot for the time we had away in Leeds (having played the Rhinos in Super League) but I thought by the end of the week the guys were in pretty good shape and mentally we went into the game pretty focused on performing at home, respecting the cup and also continuing on our style of play.
Robinson defended his decision not to 'rest' his big names, adding: 'There was a bit about respecting the cup and our crowd and Sheffield, and then the other thing was that we had all our players playing semi-final football in the juniors or our reserve grade.'
Robinson reserved special praise for man of the match, Scott Dureau, who converted 10 of the tries as well as playing a key role in a number of the touchdowns.
'He looked good today, he took on the line, and if it didn't open up for him, it opened up for Leon, it was a nice day for those guys to attack the ruck,' the coach said.
Eagles coach Mark Aston was left disappointed by his side's display.
'We pride ourselves on coming to bigger and stronger opposition and playing well and putting in a performance, unfortunately we didn't do that tonight,' he said.
'At half-time we had 50% ball control, and penalties were 11-3 against us, and it snowballed. When it's like that, you drain all your energies and you start to become tired and you saw the results of that in the latter stages of the game where they were running points in left right and centre.
'We're disappointed to say the least, very disappointed.
'Catalans are a quality team, you look at what they've done in Super League, just beaten by Leeds, and they've had a couple of results that haven't gone for them and they were going to be fired up.
'You can see the difference between full-time and part-time tonight – they were strong, fast and their energy levels were good and ours weren't.'