Johnstone grabs hat-trick as Catalans beat Hull KR

Catalans Dragons (10) 26
Tries: Johnstone 3, Davies, Bousquet Goals: Keighran 2, Mourgue
Hull KR (0) 12
Tries: Milnes, Hall Goals: Lewis 2

Tom Johnstone scored his second hat-trick of the season as Catalans Dragons continued their perfect start to the Super League season by beating Hull KR.

Johnstone put Dragons ahead early on, finishing a near length-of-the-field effort that started with an intercept.

Tom Davies’ try made it 10-0 at the break, with Johnstone’s second coming before Rowan Milnes responded.

Johnstone grabbed a third and Julian Bousquet completed the win before Ryan Hall went over for Rovers’ second.

Victory moves the Perpignan club back level on points with Super League leaders Warrington after five games, while it was a third defeat in a row for Rovers after starting the campaign with back-to-back victories.

Adam Keighran helped get the French hosts off to the ideal start, intercepting a Jordan Abdull pass 15m from his try-line, before racing away and linking up with Johnstone to touchdown behind the posts for the game’s first try.

While Rovers did well to hold the Dragons off a number of times on their try-line, and were fortunate that Johnstone fumbled a chance of a first-half double, their resistance eventually buckled midway through the half with Davies going over.

The visitors improved after that but failed to breach the resistance of the high-flying hosts before the break.

The first half also took a heavy toll on Hull KR, with Dean Hadley, Abdull and Frankie Halton each having their games ended after failing head injury assessments.

Johnstone added to Catalans’ advantage when he raced away for his second soon after the restart and, while Milnes linked up with Jez Litten to hit back soon after, the winger put the Dragons beyond reach when he completed his treble and scored his eighth try in five games since arriving from Wakefield in the winter.

Bousquet then went over for his first try of the campaign and Hall grabbed another late score for Rovers, after the hosts went down a man following Tiaki Chan’s sin-binning for a shoulder charge.

Catalans Dragons: Mourgue, Davies, Keighran, Romano, Johnstone, May, Rouge, McIlorum, Seguier, Garcia, Ma’u, Bousquet, McMeeken.

Interchanges: Da Costa, Goudemand, Chan, Dezeria.

Hull KR: Coote, Senior, Opacic, Wood, Hall, Lewis, Abdull, Kennedy, Litten, King, Halton, Batchelor, Hadley.

Interchanges: Sue, Minchella, Milnes, Luckley.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

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