Kevin Sinfield scored a personal tally of 16 points as Leeds ran away with the game, finishing 40-12 winners in the south of France against Catalan Dragons in the Super League last night.
England captain Sinfield, who earlier in the week had been ruled out of the game with an ankle injury by his coach, turned in a man-of-the-match performance with a try and six conversions from as many attempts.
The home side started the brighter and opened the scoring through Michael Oldfield following a set play from a scrum. William Barthau converted, but the toll of having eight regulars missing eventually told for the Dragons.
Leeds fought back and Joel Moon touched down in the left corner after exchanging passes with Ryan Hall, Sinfield converting. They scored again without Catalan touching the ball as Brett Delaney raced onto Paul Aiton’s flat pass after good work by Ryan Bailey.
On the half hour mark, Sinfield and Watkins combined to send Tom Briscoe away down the right touchline and the winger showed his pace to score down the right, outpacing Mathias Pala in the process.
Leeds ran riot in the opening 10 minutes of the second half with both Carl Ablett and Ryan Hall touching down with the Dragons not touching the ball.
Elsewhere, Widnes staged a dramatic late fightback to snatch a 22-20 victory against Huddersfield Giants, the League Leaders’ Shield winners’ first defeat of the season.
Joe Mellor and Rhys Hanbury scored in the closing minutes as the Giants surrendered a strong position for a second game in succession after tries from Jermaine McGillvary and Leroy Cudjoe got them off to a fine start.
Leroy Cudjoe’s try looked to have put Huddersfield in charge but they were denied by a Widnes fightback