Saints suffer late Semi-Final defeat

Catalans Dragons beat Saints 12-6 in Perpignan on Friday evening, as they progress to next weekend's Grand Final.

Catalans had an early set on the Saints line, following a knock on. Lewis Dodd was in the right place at the right time though, to clear up a Tom Johnstone grubber kick in front of his own sticks.

Saints then applied some pressure of their own. Firstly a pass from Sione Mata’utia to Jon Bennison down the right wing ended up in touch, before another error as Saints tried to force a pass heading towards the Catalans line.

The video referee was called upon 18 minutes in. A low kick by Mitchell Pearce was grounded by Tom Johnstone. However, in the build up Jonny Lomax was clearly pushed over by the Steve Prescott Man of Steel nominee, so Saints were awarded the penalty.

Catalans were awarded a penalty 28 minutes in, following a Mata’utia shot on Sam Tomkins. Adam Keighran attempted the kick and slotted it through the posts, 2-0 the hosts led.

The hosts led 2-0 at the break, after a tough first 40 minutes at the Stade Gilbert Brutus. With just the solitary penalty goal separating the two sides.

Saints grabbed the first try of the game ten minutes into the second half. A ‘six again’ call pushed Saints into Catalans territory, the ball was then moved left and Jack Welsby found Will Hopoate cutting back inside and he broke through a gap, before scoring to the left of the sticks. Percival added the extras, 2-6.

With sixteen minutes to go. Catalans got awarded a penalty in front of the sticks roughly 30 metres out, following a high shot. They opted for two and Keighran once again made no mistake, 4-6 Saints led.

With eight minutes to go, Matty Lees was sent to the sin bin following a slow play the ball, Saints would end the 80 minutes with twelve men. Catalans opted to go for two points, Keighran converted again, 6-6 it was tied.

With less than 90 seconds to go, Catalans won it. The hosts camped on Saints’ line and as Tomkins lined up a drop-goal, he instead chose to run the ball and escaped some tackles before scoring under the sticks. Keighran converted with the final action of the game, as Saints were beaten 12-6 at the Stade Gilbert Brutus on Friday evening.

Match Summary

Catalans Dragons Team: Sam Tomkins, Tom Davies, Adam Keighran, Matt Ikuvalu, Tom Johnstone, Tyrone May, Mitchell Pearce, Mike McMeekan, Michael McIlorum, Siosiua, Matt Whitley, Paul Seguier, Benjamin Garcia.

Interchanges: Julian Bousquet, Romain Navarette, Arthur Mourgue, Manu Ma’u.

18th Man: Arthur Romano.

Tries: Sam Tomkins (79)

Conversions: Adam Keighran (1 from 1)

Penalties: Adam Keighran (3 from 3)

Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Will Hopoate, Jon Bennison, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, Curtis Sironen, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges: Alex Walmsley, James Bell, George Delaney, Moses Mbye.

18th Man: Ben Davies.

Tries: Will Hopoate (50)

Conversions: Mark Percival (1 from 1)

Sin Bin: Matty Lees (72)

HT: 2-0

FT: 12-6

Attendance: 11,530

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