Saints led 30-12 but were were beaten 31-30 in golden point by the Catalans Dragons at a dramatic Magic Weekend at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.
Catalans took an early third minute lead as Sam Tomkins threw a dummy and escaped multiple Saints tackles to slide over to the left of the sticks. James Maloney added the extras to make it 6-0 to the French side.
Mark Percival was then sent off shortly after for Saints for a high shot on Tomkins.
Saints looked to have levelled the scores in the 13th minute. We threw the ball from left to right and Lachlan Coote found Tommy Makinson on the right wing and he finished well under pressure in the right corner. The try was confirmed by the video referee. Coote missed the conversion and we trailed 6-4.
We did take the lead in the 19th minute though. A good move down the left-hand side saw Coote play a one-two pass with the returning Percival to go over to the left of the sticks. Coote converted his own try to give us a 10-6 lead.
We scored our third try five minutes before the break. We were awarded a repeat set following a Catalans knock on, on their own line. In that set Jack Welsby found Sione Mata’utia who managed to get over the line despite the French sides best attempts to stop him. Coote added the extras to make it 16-6.
Sam Kasiano was then sent to the sin bin for the Dragons just before the break for a crusher tackle on James Bentley.
In the final minute of the half a decision was sent to the video referee for a potential Saints penalty try, which was not given but Kristian Woolf’s men were awarded a penalty from the decision and Coote added it to make it 18-6 to Saints at the break.
Mata’utia grabbed his second try of the evening seven minutes into the second half. Saints turned the ball over in the middle of the pitch and Welsby once again found Mata’utia who stepped Tomkins to score under the sticks. Coote added the extras, 24-6.
A few minutes later we had another chance to further increase our lead after a big break down the right wing, but Makinson was ruled to have made a double movement when putting the ball down so the Dragons were awarded a penalty.
Catalans then responded. Julian Bousquet forced his way over under the middle of the sticks. Maloney added the extras, Saints led 24-12.
Percival then made a big break down the middle of the pitch, a few tackles later Morgan Knowles took a carry close to the line and span his way over to score underneath the sticks. Coote added the extras to make it 30-12.
Catalans responded as firstly Dean Whare scored in the left corner. Maloney added that extras, Saints led 30-18 with just over three minutes to go. That was quickly followed by a Gil Dudson try after a break. Maloney with the extras, Saints led 30-24.
Somehow the Dragons completed their comeback as Kasiano claimed a high kick on the hooter to score. Maloney added the extras to make it 30-30 and send it to golden point.
The first attempt of a one-pointer in golden point was taken by Makinson but it went wide of the sticks. There was then a lengthy stoppage as Samisoni Langi clashed with Agnatius Paasi. The Catalans player was stretchered from the field as Paasi was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes.
Saints then had another chance to win it but this time Coote missed the attempt of a one-pointer.
Catalans then went up the other end and won the game as James Maloney kicked the one-pointer from near the halfway line to give them an unlikely 31-30 win and with it secured the League Leaders Shield.
Saints Team: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jack Welsby, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, James Bentley, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Joe Batchelor, Jake Wingfield.
Tries: Tommy Makinson (13), Lachlan Coote (19), Sione Mata’utia (35, 47), Morgan Knowles (69)
Conversions: Lachlan Coote (4 from 5)
Penalties: Lachlan Coote (1 from 1)
Sin Bin: Mark Percival (6), Agnatius Paasi (85)
Catalans Dragons Team: Sam Tomkins, Tom Davies, Dean Whare, Samisoni Langi, Fouad Yaha, James Maloney, Josh Drinkwater, Julian Bousquet, Michael McIlorum, Jordan Dezaria, Mike McMeekan, Matt Whitley, Mickael Goudemand.
Interchanges: Arthur Mourgue, Gil Dudson, Joel Tomkins, Sam Kasiano.
Tries: Sam Tomkins (3), Julian Bousquet (57), Dean Whare (76), Gil Dudson (78), Sam Kasiano (80)
Conversions: James Maloney (5 from 5)
Sin Bin: Sam Kasiano (38)