Catalans Dragons needed extra time to beat Hull KR 29-28 after a fantastic second half comeback from the Robins at Headingley.
Despite making a mess of the kick off, Catalans went on to take the lead after just five minutes.
They forced an error from Ben Crooks, and Matt Whitley’s booming pass allowed Fouad Yaha to go over unopposed. James Maloney converted for a six-point lead.
Catalans doubled their lead 10 minutes later, as young French centre Mathieu Laguerre offloaded cleverly to find Whitley, who scored. Maloney added the conversion.
25 minutes in, Ryan Hall got his first try back in the Super League. A failed offload from Dean Whare went to ground, and picked up by Hall, who ran 30m to score. Jordan Abdull missed the conversion attempt to leave them trailing by eight points.
Laguerre then got in on the act, scoring a try after a short ball from Sam Tomkins. Maloney converted in one of the last acts of the first half.
Catalans struck again five minutes after the break, as Josh Drinkwater’s low kick picked out Ben Garcia, who went through to score. Maloney scored the conversion to extend their lead to 20 points.
It was soon two tries in 10 minutes at the start of the second half for the Dragons. Yaha got the ball out wide, and bumped off Adam Quinlan’s attempted tackle to score. Maloney was off target with the conversion for the first time.
Hull KR had to get the next try, and they did on 55 minutes, as Mikey Lewis went across the line looking for a pass, but spotted a gap and came back inside to score. Abdull converted to get the Robins into double figures.
The Robins then made it two tries in three minutes, as Quinlan’s loose pass was picked up by Hall, who went over for his second try. Abdull scored the conversion to bring them back to within 12 points.
Catalans would then spend all but the last three minutes with 12 men, after Julian Bousquet was sent to the sin bin after running in during a flashpoint.
The Robins made the extra man count soon after, as Hall reached Abdull’s low kick to complete his hat-trick in the corner. Abdull converted to bring them back within six points.
The comeback was complete with four minutes to go, as George King powered over from short range to score. Abdull conveted.
It forced the first Golden Point match of the new season, and it was the Dragons who got the win. A fantastic break from Arthur Mourgue created the field position, and Maloney slotted the drop goal to win it.
Super League heads to St Helens next week, with Catalans taking on Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR take on St Helens.
Catalans Dragons: Sam Tomkins, Tom Davies, Mathieu Laguerre, Dean Whare, Fouad Yaha, James Maloney, Josh Drinkwater, Mickael Goudemand, Alrix da Costa, Julian Bousquet, Matt Whitley, Mike McMeeken, Ben Garcia.
Subs: Arthur Mourgue, Paul Seguier, Jason Baitieri, Sam Kasiano.
Head Coach: Steve McNamara.
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Ben Crooks, Greg Minikin, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Abdull, Mikey Lewis, Korbin Sims, Jez Litten, George King, Kane Linnett, Dean Hadley, George Lawler.
Subs: Albert Vete, Matt Parcell, Elliot Minchella, Matty Storton.
Head Coach: Tony Smith.