Old man Menzies guides Dragons past eager Bulls

Bradford Bulls 28 Catalan Dragons 34

A sublime display by Steve Menzies,the grand old man of Super League, took the Catalans to victory in a game in which they were a man short for almost a half. The dismissal of David Ferriol after 44 minutesshould have tilted a fascinating match Bradford's way, but with the 37-year-old Australian at the helm the French side were able tosteady the ship and maintain their impressive recent record.

Fittingly, the first try of the afternoon was scored by a Frenchman – Bradford's former Dragons captain, Olivier Elima. The Test forward took Marc Herbert's neat, short pass and burst through after eight minutes.

The Catalans' response was led by another man demonstrating the old adage that your former players know how to hurt you. The Bulls let Menzies go, but the oldest player in Super League showed that he still has plenty to offer. A world-class second-rower for most of the past two decades, he was switched to stand-off yesterday and he took to it as though it was the most natural thing in the world.

After 13 minutes he set up a try for Clint Greenshields with an arcing run that drew the defence and then a perfect pass. Ten minutes later, after Andy Lynch had failed to pick up a low pass from Gareth Raynor, Menzies again found Greenshields coming into the line and the full-back put Damien Blanch over in the corner.

Just as impressive as those two pieces of work was the way Menzies got across to make a superb cover- tackle on Ben Jeffries, when the Bradford stand-off was threatening to go all the way to the line after taking an intercept. Menzies is determined to play past his 38th birthday next year, and on this form he could become Super League's first 40-year-old.

For all that, his old club had their noses ahead of his present one at half-time, thanks to two late penalties from Patrick Ah Van.

That lead did not last long, Sébastien Raguin finding his way through a forest of legs after Scott Dureau had been stopped short. What looked like being the pivotal moment of the match came soon after that, when Ferriol was sent off for a high tackle on James Donaldson and Ah Van kicked the equalising penalty. Worse was to follow for the Dragons. as Greenshields lost the ball trying to bring it away from his line, subjecting his team to a spell of ferocious pressure that ended with Tom Burgess touching down.

The Catalans were anything but cowed, though, and they drew level with a try from from another former Bull, Ian Henderson. Brett Kearney had a try disallowed for Bradford, for double movement, before an inspired pass from Menzies to Lopeni Paea saw Dureau score. When Blanch broke away for his second, the 12 men were on their way to a remarkable win.

Greenshields clinched it with a long-range effort, making Raynor's last-minute try irrelevant.

Bradford Bulls: Kearney; Crookes, Ah Van, Platt, Raynor; Jeffries, Herbert; Lynch, Diskin, Hargreaves, Elima, Whitehead, Kopczak. Substitutes used: Scruton, Donaldson, Addy, Burgess.

Catalan Dragons: Greenshields; Blanch, Baile, Millard, Vaccari; Menzies, Dureau; Ferriol, Henderson, Fakir, Raguin, Paea, Mounis. Substitutes used: Casty, Martins, Baitieri, Pelissier.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test