Catalans Dragons v Saints
Saints produced a tremendous performance to grab a 28-24 win over Catalans – their first in Perpignan since 2013.
Theo Fages was at the hub, creating a number of tries including a wonderful offload for Jack Owen’s crucial game winner.
But this was a 1-17 effort which handed Keiron Cunningham’s men their second victory of the campaign and saw them climb into the top eight.
And, it could have been more comfortable if two seemingly good tries hadn’t been chalked off.
Saints got off to the best possible start when Adam Swift scored in the corner on their first attacking set.
Morgan Knowles was hit high in centre field and from the penalty Jon Wilkin combined with Fages and Mark Percival to put the winger in after just three minutes.
But the joy was short-lived as Thomas Bosc found a gap in the defence less than a minute later.
Luke Walsh levelled with the boot yet within a blink of the eye Saints were back in front.
Two sets in Catalans’ territory laid the platform before Fages linked up with Makinson for Percival to cross in the corner.
But the Dragons came right back and on their next set Walsh found Bousquet on a nice line.
That put the Catalans ahead 12-10 after a quarter of an hour – but the scoring didn’t stop as Saints came right back into it through Ryan Morgan.
He started the move following a tap restart and some great handling saw the ball coming right for the centre to polish it off.
And Saints looked to have scored on the 20 minute mark when Morgan broke through again.
He found Makinson on his shoulder but the full back was hauled down 20 metres out.
Saints then moved the ball to the left and Swift put down in the corner.
But it was harshly denied by the video referee for a foot in touch that no one else saw.
On the half hour mark Richie Myler had one chalked off for obstruction as he went under the posts … and then Saints went up the other end of the field and scored.
A lovely Percival break set this one up and once it came back to the the posts, Roby found Walker who put down under pressure.
Saints were good value for their lead but Catalans wouldn’t go away and hit back through Iain Thornley to make it a four point game five minutes before the break.
Saints possibly could have closed out a frantic half with another score but a kick through was collected and returned with interest by Thornley.
And he would have drawn the hosts level but Makinson made an all important shove to put the man in touch.
Catalan dominated the early stages of the second half and after having one disallowed for a forward pass Paul Aiton poached a four-pointer from close range.
Saints forced two drop outs in quick succession around the 50 minute mark and Taia was stopped right on the line by boneshaker from Bosc.
The visitors also piled on the pressure around the hour mark but couldn’t get the all important score.
With 10 to go Makinson and Percival put Swift free on the left touchline before he turned it inside.
The ball came off Bousquet and Saints put down the but the referee waved play on for a forward pass.
Saints weren’t to be denied again though and once Catalans made a mistake, Fages produced a worldie of a run and offload to put Jack Owens over in the corner.
Percival hitting the conversion for a four point lead.
Catalan threw what they could at Saints in the final stages but the defence held firm for a deserved win.
Tries: Bosc, Bousquet, Thornley, Aiton
Goals: Walsh (4 from 4)
Tries: Swift, Percival, Morgan, Walker, Owens
Goals: Percival (4 from 5)
REF: R Hicks
16. Thomas Bosc; 21. Iain Thornley, 3. Krisnan Inu, 4. Brayden Wiliame, 5. Fouad Yaha; 6. Luke Walsh, 7. Richie Myler; 8. Sam Moa, 9. Paul Aiton, 10. Remi Casty, 12. Justin Horo, 15. Ben Garcia, 17. Jason Baitieri.
Subs: 14. Julian Bousquet, 19. Mickael Simon, 20. Luke Burgess, 23. Alrix Da Costa.
2. Tommy Makinson; 21. Jack Owens, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Theo Fages, 12. Jon Wilkin; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 14. Luke Douglas, 36. Zeb Taia, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles.
Subs: 10. Kyle Amor, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Adam Walker, 17. Tommy Lee.
Saints Line up
Catalans Dragons Line up
|17||Alrix Da Costa|
Last updated 17 May 17 21:55:24
Wiliame held up close.
Catalans force it on the last… Fages makes a great tackle.
SAINTS TRY! Owens is over after Fages produces a worldie of an offload.
Mistake from Catalans, Saints coming away with it.
Saints close there… didn’t the ball come off Bousquet? Doesn’t matter as Catalans come away with it.
Penalty to Saints after Catalans fail to play the ball correctly.
Myler through and passes the ball to … James Roby.
Penalty heads to Catalans
Ball goes forward
Saints working hard – grab a penalty
Ball goes to ground on Saints attack. Asking questions here.
Saints bundle Bosc into touch. Chances now boys.
Saints close again – Taia stopped right on the line with a huge hit.
What a hit from Makinson on Bosc – Dragons have to drop out.
Another kick puts Catalans back on their line. Saints need to make this pressure pay
Saints grab a drop out after a superb kick chase
Forward pass from Catalans, Saints have the ball.
Penalty to Catalans
Poaches a try from dummy half.
Catalans get the ball back as Wilkin is given a knock on for not playing the ball correctly. A bizarre one…
Not the best last tackle option from Fages after Wilkin’s high kick doesn’t travel far enough.
Catalans denied a try for a forward pass.
Saints shift it quickly to the left, but the ball heads into touch.
Nice high take from Makinson from Walsh’s kick.
Saints get the second half underway, they lead 22-18
Bonkers first half. Saints should probably be further ahead but Catalans have had two chalked off too.
Catalans come right back from Saints being on their line – possible try but Thornley is in touch.
Lee held up on the last…
Lovely kick from Wilkin has Catalans on their line and then Saints force a drop out.
Catalans called for a forward pass.
Walsh and Myler combine to put Thornley in.
Saints have to do some defending now.
Saints further ahead! Adam Walker puts down under the posts under pressure.
Another set following Mark Percival’s break
Denied. Saints penalty
We’re upstairs for a Myler try… looks like obstruction in the build up
And another right on Saints line
Penalty to Catalan. 3-3 on the count so far.
Swift takes the high ball.
What defence from Saints on Thornley
Catalan get another set on Saints’ line. Can’t take your eyes from this one.
All day a try for us that one!
Wow, that’s a great move from the Saints, Swift looks certain to have scored but it’s denied. That’s a tough one.
Saints right back on them! Morgan started this one, some great handling in the build up and he’s over.
Nice handling from Saints
Nice run from Ryan Morgan and Saints are in Catalans’ territory again.
Catalan looking to promote the ball at every opportunity
Penalty to the Dragons
GOAL: Luke Walsh for Catalans Dragons.
Saints lose the ball, Bousquet on a nice line and it’s all square.
But the ball is knocked – on. Scratchy from both sides so far
Restart on the full… Another good chance for Saints here.
Percy over in the corner! Another move to the left, nice ball from Makinson.
Catalans called for offside
Saints hand the ball back from a forward pass – only 15 metres out so the chance is gone.
Big tackle from Knowles forces it loose.
Saints get the ball back after Sam Moa knocks it on.
GOAL: Luke Walsh for Catalans Dragons.
Saints give away the penalty and Bosc takes a nice pass and draws the Catalans back into it.
Penalty to Catalans
Saints get rid of the ball on the last tackle – little late hit on Fages but it’s waved on.
What a start. From the penalty Saints move the ball left through Wilkin and Fages and Swift puts down.
Penalty to Saints
Big welcoming committee for Alex Walmsley on Saints’ first hit up. Fans in great voice.
Catalans will get this one underway