Catalan Dragons ensured a top-four Super League finish as they ended Bradford's play-off hopes with victory at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
Nine tries, including a hat-trick for the departing Clint Greenshields, were enough to overpower the Bulls, for whom Jarrod Sammut scored four tries. Catalans' Vincent Duport, Setaimata Sa, Louis Anderson, Steve Menzies, Daryl Millard and Scott Dureau all crossed. Michael Platt also scored for Bradford, who trailed only 22-20 at the break. Dureau also converted six of the eight scores, while Luke Gale responded with three for Bradford.
Catalans' victory, in coach Trent Robinson's last regular season game before joining Sydney Roosters in 2013, sets up a meeting with league leaders Wigan when the play-offs kick off at the DW Stadium this coming Friday night.
Menzies was back in the squad to face his former club, who had lost prop Craig Kopczak before the game following the termination of his contract. But Bradford, beaten 70-6 at home by Hull last weekend, made a great start.
They went in front within two minutes when Platt crashed over before going 10-0 up when Sammut took a tap back from a Gale kick to pop over in the left corner.The lead was soon wiped out by a trio of Dragons tries, the first from Greenshields, who was eventually judged to have made a clean grounding. Duport then followed up moments later when he snatched a spilled Dureau bomb before Sa finished off a fine move involving Henderson and Dureau to give Catalans the lead. Anderson then slipped a string of Bulls tackles to score left of the posts.
The visitors replied with their third try of the half when Sammut was in again just before the break, galloping on the outside to collect Keith Lulia's pass.
But the stand-out moment came on the hooter when Sammut completed his hat-trick, collecting his own exquisite chip over the Catalans line. Despite that try, the Catalans took the initiative after the break when the evergreen Menzies made light of the Perpignan heat to run some 60 metres to score against his former club before Millard maintained his composure to score in the left corner.
Catalans were now in control, Greenshields finishing off a flowing move to the right when he dummied Sammut to slip in for his second. Dureau, whose kicking has also been key to Catalans, recorded an interception try under the posts to hand himself the easiest of conversions. Sammut got a fourth, but Greenshields grabbed his hat-trick from Dureau's grubber to take the Dragons up to 50 points and into the play-offs.
Catalan Dragons Greenshields; Blanch, Duport, Sa, Millard; Bosc, Dureau; Ferriol, Henderson, Casty, Raguin, Anderson, Baitieri. Substitutes used Menzies, Mounis, Pelissier, Fakir.
Bradford Bulls Kearney; Kear, Platt, Lulia, Crookes; Jeffries, Gale; Manuokafoa, L'Estrange, Hargreaves, Olbison, Whitehead, Elima. Substitutes used Walker, Scruton, Diskin, Joseph.
Referee Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).
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