Leeds coach Rohan Smith quickly turned his attention to his side’s “all or nothing” play-off battle against Castleford after their 32-18 defeat at Catalans.
A win for the Rhinos would have booked a place in Super League’s post-season play-offs but despite a second half fightback they were condemned to loss in Perpignan.
The race for the sixth and final play-off spot will go to either Leeds or Castleford on Saturday when the neighbours meet at Headingley.
Smith said: “It’s all or nothing now. It’s us or Cas, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s up to us to go into that game with the right preparation.
“If you’d have said four months ago we’d be playing for a play-off spot you’d have been all over that.”
We were beaten by the better team, admits Rohan Smith
Fouad Yaha scored two tries for the Dragons, with Joe Chan, Mitchell Pearce and Gil Dudson also touching down in a dominant first-half performance.
Rhinos, who got on the board with Sam Walters’ first-half try, fought back to within 10 points thanks to scores from Richie Myler and Brad Dwyer.
But Samisoni Langi’s late try ended any hopes of victory.
Smith added: “Tonight we were beaten by the better team. But we’ve been playing well for months, we just need to find a more polished performance.
“I’m not disappointed with the effort of my players tonight. It’s a tough place and a tough team to face. We matched them for the most part of the game.
“There were a couple of occasions that went against us but overall I thought the best team won.
“We started a little slowly and failed to stop their flow. Their middle unit guys got a roll on and we were clumsy with out defence for most of the first half.
“But we fought enough to not let it get out of hand.
“They played well and we were pretty ordinary for a fair chunk of that. It’s not enough against a top-four team.”
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