A brave effort from Hull FC was ultimately in vain as Catalans had a late surge of points to thank for a 31-16 victory on Friday evening.
Hull, travelling by air to a scorching Perpignan earlier in the day, led 10-14 at half time thanks to an interception try from Carlos Tuimavave and a fine finish from Bureta Faraimo, but it wasn’t enough.
Young half Ben McNamara took over the kicking duties, and added two further penalty goals, but it was league leaders Catalans who finished the stronger.
Tries from Fouad Yaha, Sam Tomkins and Julian Bousquet took the game away from Hull, who battled hard after Tom Davies’ first half brace.
The Black and Whites, missing a dozen players through either injuries, suspensions, and the recent covid outbreak at the club, fielded debuts to Marcus Walker and Jacob Hookem, and they never backed down in tough conditions.
With co-captain Scott Taylor returning to the field for the first time in three and a half months, effort wasn’t in question, but key errors during crucial periods of the game hurt them, as did poor discipline which unfortunately has become a common theme all season, with Tuimavave sent to the sin bin for a professional foul compounding their woes.
Despite a Hull defence that continued to give away penalties but who still scrambled and battled all evening, Catalans eventually made their pressure tell.
They are top of the league for a reason, and they had more than enough to eventually dispatch of a resilient Hull side that although remained gutsy in defeat, have now suffered four loses in a row, with the Hull Derby coming up next Saturday afternoon.
Fingers crossed Brett Hodgson has some troops and a certain Snake back, or things might be looking a little ominous….
Catalans Starting XIII: 29. Sam Tomkins, 2. Tom Davies, 4. Dean Whare, 3. Samisoni Langi, 5. Fouad Yaha, 6. James Maloney, 7. Josh Drinkwater, 8. Julian Bousquet, 9. Michael McIllorum, 10. Gil Dudson, 21. Corentin Le Cam, 12. Mike McMeeken, 17. Mikael Goudemand.
Interchange: 1. Arthur Mourgue, 27. Joe Chan, 28. Sam Kasiano, 30. Jordan Dezaria.
Catalans Tries: Davies 2, Yaha, Tomkins, Bousquet. Goals: Maloney 4/5. Drop Goal: Maloney
Hull Starting XIII: 21. Adam Swift, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 32. Marcus Walker, 24. Cameron Scott, 6. Josh Reynolds, 19. Ben McNamara, 17. Brad Fash, 9. Danny Houghton, 13. Ligi Sao, 16. Jordan Lane. 12. Manu Ma’u, 15. Joe Cator.
Interchange: 22. Josh Bowden, 20. Jack Brown, 33. Jacob Hookem, 8. Scott Taylor.
Hull Tries: Tuimavave, Faraimo. Goals: McNamara 4/5
Hull Sin Bin: Tuimavave
Scoring System: 4-0 (Davies), 4-6 (Tuimavave), 4-8, 10-8 (Davies), 10-14 (Faraimo), HT, 16-14 (Yaha), 16-16, 17-16, 23-16 (Tomkins), 29-16 (Bousquet), 31-16, FT.
Referee: James Child