A LAST-gasp Daryl Millard try condemned Saints to their first defeat of the season as Catalans came from behind to win 34-32.
Leading 26-8 ten minutes into the second half, Trent Robinson’s side punished a number of errors to take the spoils in a superb encounter.
Gary Wheeler’s interception 11 minutes from time looked set to prove the eventual game winner for the Saints.
But Millard’s ‘Wide to West’ style effort as the hooter went capped a memorable comeback -as did Scott Dureau’s wonderful conversion.
Talk all week was how where Saints going to react from their high-scoring draw with Hull KR on Sunday…
Coach Royce Simmons was disappointed with the side’s defence but they made some amends with a solid first half display.
In attack they were as clinical as usual – Jamie Foster, Anthony Laffranchi and Gary Wheeler scoring as Saints ran up a 20-8 half time lead.
Catalans responded after the home side’s opener through Remi Casty, but in all fairness it was Saints who were the better team.
In the second half, Tommy Makinson produced a sublime piece of handling to pick up Michael Shenton’s pass, before Damien Blanch pulled one back.
Vincent Duport added another as the Catalans punished a defensive kick and Scot Dureau made it game on seconds later.
Gary Wheeler then intercepted to make it a 10-point game but Setaimata Sa replied as Saints defence went to sleep.
Saints though were big and strong in the final stages but conceded too many penalties.
And with that pressure and some superb handling, the ball went left and right before Daryl Millard scored in the corner. Dureau kicking the conversion off the touchline to seal a two point win.
Royce Simmons made five changes from the starting team who drew at Hull KR. Makinson came in for Gardner, Wheeler for Meli, Gaskell for Hohaia and McCarthy-Scarsbrook for Tony Puletua who moved to loose forward whilst Chris Flannery was on the bench.
Mark Flanagan and Paul Clough returned to the 17.
Trent Robinson brought Gregory Mounis back into the side that beat Castleford last week; Steve Menzies moving into the second row.
In the opening stages, Saints won a penalty for interference and immediately made Catalans pay.
They drove down the ground and then on the last Lee Gaskell chipped ahead for Jamie Foster to outpace Gary Wheeler and touchdown.
Foster making it 6-0.
But after Saints gave away a penalty Remi Casty bulldozed over from close range – Dureau goaling.
Saints forced two repeat sets through great defence – and then fantastic feet from Jonny Lomax found Anthony Laffranchi in acres of space.
Foster two from two.
With 15 minutes to go Catalans almost broke back when Dureau broke through the middle of the field with Pryce on his outside. But the pass from the former Saints’ star went to ground.
Foster added a penalty with less than 12 left in the half then Wheeler showed superb strength as Saints loaded the left hand side to increase the lead.
Gaskell and Wellens were involved but the young centre showed great confidence and power to get over.
Dureau kicking late penalty to make it 20-8 at the break.
Saints began the second half like the first with a fine sweeping move that saw Tommy Makinson get over.
Michael Shenton pushed the ball out under pressure and the winger did fantastic to pick it up off the deck and increase the lead.
Foster right off the touchline to make it 26-8.
Steve Menzies’ bobbling forward pass was picked up by Damien Blanch – allowed by James Child – before Vincent Duport pulled another back after a poor error from Jamie Foster.
And then Dureau powered home a move straight from the kick off.
But as Dureau pushed the pass on the next set Wheeler intercepted and returned with interest to give Saints the advantage.
Foster six from six on the evening.
Setaimata Sa responded immediately thanks to Pryce’s pass and that was goaled by Dureau to make it a four-point game.
And Saints looked like they would held out but on the last tackle in the last few seconds Catalans threw the ball around like mad men and Millard crashed over in the corner.
With the hooter gone Scott Dureau had all the time in the world to kick the conversion right off the touchline and he did that to finish a dramatic ending.
Tries: Foster, Laffranchi, Wheeler (2), Makinson
Goals: Foster (6 from 6)
Tries: Casty, Blanch, Duport, Dureau, Sa, Millard
Goals: Dureau (5 from 7)
REF: James Child
1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 17. Gary Wheeler, 22. Jamie Foster; 20. Lee Gaskell, 7. Jonny Lomax; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin, 11. Tony Puletua.
Subs: 6. Lance Hohaia, 13. Chris Flannery, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough.
1. Clint Greenshields; 2. Damien Blanch, 18. Daryl Millard, 25. Vincent Duport, 6. Thomas Bosc; 3. Leon Pryce, 7. Scott Dureau; 10. Remi Casty, 9. Ian Henderson, 23. Lopini Paea, 4. Setaimata Sa, 11. Steve Menzies, 24. Jason Baitieri.
Subs: 8. David Ferriol, 13. Gregory Mounis, 14. Sebastien Raguin, 22. Jamel Fakir.
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