Dragons Beat Saints

SAINTS couldn’t take advantage of Ben Pomeroy’s sending off as they went down 26-16 to the Catalans Dragons.

The centre saw red following his rash shoulder charge on Josh Jones early in the second half.

But Keiron Cunningham’s men failed to unlock the defence and slipped to their second defeat of the season in Perpignan.

It could have been different, if a little against the play, if Greg Richards’ try towards the end of the game was given.

He span and went to the left the posts but the try was harshly chalked off for obstruction.

Cunningham said after the game that the best team won but did bemoan some of the decisions through the course of the match.

However, Saints were victims of their own downfall – after making a lively start.

Opting to blood Alex Walmsley with Greg Richards in the 13 they made decent inroads into Catalans’ territory but couldn’t make their early territorial advantage count.

Mark Flanagan combined with Mark Percival to almost put Matty Dawson through on seven minutes but the Dragons made a telling tackle on the winger.

Two minutes later a penalty handed the Dragons the impetus and a Thomas Bosc kick through saw Tony Gigot putting down after it held up nicely for him on what was, actually, a slippy and fast track.

Saints pressed on their next set – but lost the ball – and then the home side were awarded back to back penalties.

The second of which was cooly slotted between the uprights for 8-0.

Saints hit back and it was down to the persistence of Luke Walsh.

Adam Swift was set free on the left – but his pass inside was loose. Seizing the chance, Walsh hacked the ball on and then managed to force an error from Escare and gather over the line.

Buoyed, Saints put in a big defensive set but then conceded penalties to sway the momentum back to the home side.

And they didn’t disappoint either – Louis Anderson going over from close range after Dureau had opted to run the penalty.

Saints hit back through Dawson as the half entered its final knockings through – and it came on the back of two penalties.

The final one – a late hit by Taia on Savelio – was punished as Walsh and Burns moved it right for the winger to notch his third of the season.

Saints should have galvanised and held firm there into half time but a loose pass from Adam Quinlan was knocked on by Percival and returned with interest by Escare.

In the second half Luke Walsh kicked Saints into a good position before Ben Pomeroy was sent off for a shoulder charge on Josh Jones.

It was a shocker too with the centre needing a bandage around his head and jaw.

But Dureau tempered the home side’s nerves with a penalty to make it 22-10 – and then added another on 49 minutes to make it 24-10.

It was clear what Saints needed to do – play out their sets and not give any penalties away.

And they did that; profiting too when one came their way.

This time, on the last, Walsh caught Joe Greenwood on a great line and he made no mistake.

Catalans were visibly tiring and the number of penalties heading Saints way was testament.

Two in a row handed the visitors in the advantage and Dawson’s spectacular if, ultimately, ineffective dive to the corner were signs at least that a comeback could be on the cards.

And when Greg Richards dove his way over it looked like it was on.

The prop took a pass, spun away from the tackle – sending James Roby sprawling in the process and crashed over.

But his effort was denied by the video referee who ruled he had obstructed the Dragons’ defence.

It was a poor call and effectively, in the cold light of day, ended the comeback.

Inu added a penalty at the death to rub salt into the wounds.

Match Summary:

Dragons:
Tries: Gigot, Anderson, Escare
Goals: Dureau (6 from 6), Inu (1 from 1)

Saints:
Tries: Walsh, Dawson, Greenwood
Goals: Walsh (2 from 3)

Penalties:
Dragons: 14
Saints: 7

HT: 10-20
FT: 16-26

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: TBC

Teams:

Dragons:
1. Morgan Escaré; 30. Krisnan Inu, 28. Tony Gigot, 3. Ben Pomeroy, 4. Willie Tonga; 14. Thomas Bosc, 7. Scott Dureau; 8. Olivier Elima, 9. Ian Henderson, 15. Jeff Lima, 11. Zeb Taia, 17. Elliott Whitehead, 24. Jason Baitieri.
Subs: 12. Louis Anderson, 16. Eloi Pelissier, 18. Ben Garcia, 21. Julian Bousquet.

Saints:
37. Adam Quinlan; 22. Matty Dawson, 17. Mark Percival, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 14. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 19. Greg Richards, 21. Joe Greenwood, 15. Mark Flanagan, 18. Luke Thompson.
Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 10. Kyle Amor, 25. Andre Savelio, 29. Olly Davies.

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