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SAINTS FALL TO DEFEAT IN PERPIGNAN

St Helens unbeaten run came to an end in the south of France as Catalans Dragons defeated Saints 20-16 at the Stade Gilbert Brutus Stadium in front of 1000 Dragons supporters.

The Dragons were dealt an early blow as Sam Tomkins and Samisoni Langi were both forced to miss the game after picking up injuries in the warm up.

The Saints looked to make that blow count and started strongly. We were unfortunate not to take the lead as Kevin Naiqama flew over in the corner after a one-handed, Tommy Makinson-esque finish, but referee Robert Hicks rightly called the Fijian’s foot was just in touch.

It was in fact the hosts, playing in front of 1000 Catalans fans at the Stade Gilbert Brutas who took the lead through a James Maloney penalty goal.

Then at the other end Naiqama looked like he did brilliantly to pick up a loose ball and get out of his own goal, but Hicks penalised him for an incorrect play the ball. The call looked harsh and Catalans made it count as Maloney crept through a gap in the Saints defence to open the scoring. He converted his own try to extend the Dragons lead to eight.

Saints were again close to our first try, but when Percival broke through the Catalans line he opted to pass out wide to Naiqama who went over, but our centre’s pass was forward. Theo Fages was hit late in the build-up mind so the penalty was awarded and Coote kicked the final points of a tough first half. Catalans led 8-2 at the break.

Saints had the worst possible start to the second half as we conceded another try. Coote grasped a high Catalans kick, but his sideways pass was dropped by Grace and Mike McMeeken capitalised and fed the supporting Dean Whare who went over easily. Maloney converted and Catalans led 14-2.

We were back in it shortly after mind as James Roby opted to go on the short side and he found the supporting Coote who fed Mark Percival who powered over three Catalans players to score. Coote missed the two from wide right. Catalans 14-6 Saints.

But Catalans responded just seven minutes later as Mike McMeeken broke through weak Saints defence and after he was finally brought down, the ball was fed to the left and Benjamin Jullien was there to score. Maloney converted from wide. Catalans 20-6 Saints.

Percival made it interesting with 10 minutes to go as he made three successive Saints penalities count, latching onto another Coote short ball and going over. Coote converted brilliantly from wide right. 20-12.

Saints had momentum and continued to push and with four minutes to play we had another as Lomax’s cut-out pass found Grace and he went over in the corner! Coote’s kick fell short, but the deficit was down to four – 20-16.

The Saints pushed again, but could not find a late winner this time as Catalans held on.

Catalans Dragons Team: Arthur Mourgue, Tom Davies, Matthieu Laguerre, Dean Whare, Fouad Yaha, James Maloney, Josh Drinkwater, Gil Dudson, Michael Mcilorum, Julian Bousquet, Benjamin Jullien, Mike McMeeken, Ben Garcia.

Interchanges: Alrix Da Costa, Sam Kasiano, Mickael Goudemand, Joel Tomkins.

Tries: Maloney (22), Whare (42), Jullien (57)

Conversions: Maloney (4 from 4)

Saints Team: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Jack Welsby, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Agnatius Paasi, James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Joel Thompson, Sione Mata’utia, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges: Alex Walmsley, Kyle Amor, Joe Batchelor, Lewis Dodd.

Tries: Percival (50), (70), Grace (76).

Conversions: Lachlan Coote (2 from 4)

HT: 8-2

FT: 20-16

Catalans Dragons Line up

1Arthur Mourgue
2Tom Davies
3Matthieu Laguerre
4Dean Whare
5Fouad Yaha
6James Maloney
7Josh Drinkwater
8Gil Dudson
9Michael Mcilorum
10Julian Bousquet
11Benjamin Jullien
12Mike McMeeken
13Ben Garcia
14Alrix Da Costa
15Mickael Goudemand
16Joel Tomkins
17Sam Kasiano

Last updated 17 Jul 21 18:37:36

Head over to Saints TV for all the reaction. We will catch you next week as we host Hull FC back at the Totally Wicked Stadium!

80'

FT: 🐉 CATALANS 20-16 SAINTS 😇

Despite a spirited late charge, it’s defeat for Saints in Perpignan.

78'

We try and move the ball quickly through the hands of Coote and Fages, but Percival can’t find Naiqama out wide. A minute and a half to go here in Perpignan…

🐉 CATALANS 20-16 SAINTS 😇

76'

Coote’s kick falls short and we trail by four with four minutes to go…

🐉 CATALANS 20-16 SAINTS 😇

76'
Try
Regan Grace for Saints

REGANNNNNN!!! GET IN!!! The ball is fed out to our left and Lomax finds Grace with a cut-out pass and our Welsh winger goes over!!

@regangrace5 💪

🐉 CATALANS 20-16 SAINTS 😇

75'

Saints on the charge here as Grace’s kick traps Mourgue in his own-goal. Maloney kicks out and we come again…Five minutes to go!

🐉 CATALANS 20-12 SAINTS 😇

71'
Goal
Lachlan Coote for Saints

Coooooote nails the touchline conversion! Could be crucial…

🐉 CATALANS 20-12 SAINTS 😇

70'
Try
Mark Percival for Saints

YES WE CAN!! The ball is moved out to the right and Coote again finds Percy who is there to bag his second! GAME ON!!

@markpercival22 💪

🐉 CATALANS 20-10 SAINTS 😇

70'

Another penalty for Saints – that’s three on the bounce. Can we make it count?

🐉 CATALANS 20-6 SAINTS 😇

69'

It’s hotting up as a Maloney is penalised for a challenge on Welsby. Mata’utia comes in to have a go at the Dragons player and we win another penalty…

🐉 CATALANS 20-6 SAINTS 😇

69'

Welsby wins a penalty for Saints. Coote kicks for touch and we have a set in the Dragons half. Come on boys!

🐉 CATALANS 20-6 SAINTS 😇

67'

Dodd puts in a wonderful kick which stays in play by a matter of millimeters! The Catalans full back is fortunate to get out of his own goal.

🐉 CATALANS 20-6 SAINTS 😇

66'

Iggy Paasi is back on as is Kyle Amor as both sides go set for set…

🐉 CATALANS 20-6 SAINTS 😇

60'

Lewis Dodd is on at hooker as Roby makes way.

🐉 CATALANS 20-6 SAINTS 😇

58'
Goal
James Maloney for Catalans Dragons

Maloney kicks the two from wide left.

🐉 CATALANS 20-6 SAINTS 😇

57'
Try
Benjamin Jullien for Catalans Dragons

Benjamin Jullien goes over for Catalans after McMeeken had made a break through the Saints defence.

🐉 CATALANS 18-6 SAINTS 😇

56'

Maloney’s grubber is grasped by Cooote who does well, but he is trapped in goal and the Dragons will come again…

🐉 CATALANS 14-6 SAINTS 😇

52'

Coote misses the kick from wide right, but it’s game on!

🐉 CATALANS 14-6 SAINTS 😇

50'
Try
Mark Percival for Saints

WE ARE BACK IN IT! Percy latches on to Coote’s short ball to power over! Get in!

@markpercival22 💪

🐉 CATALANS 14-6 SAINTS 😇

46'

It’s not happening for Saints as the ball is oved out to Grace’s side, but Welsby can’t find our Welsh winger and the Dragons have it back…

🐉 CATALANS 14-2 SAINTS 😇

43'
Goal
James Maloney for Catalans Dragons

Maloney converts the two.

🐉 CATALANS 14-2 SAINTS 😇

42'
Try
Dean Whare for Catalans Dragons

Dean Whare gets the first score of the second half after the Dragons capitlise on a Saints error as Grace can’t keep hold of Coote’s pass.

🐉 CATALANS 12-2 SAINTS 😇

41'

We are back underway here in Perpignan! COYS!

🐉 CATALANS 8-2 SAINTS 😇

40'

HT: 🐉 CATALANS 8-2 SAINTS 😇

A try and two goals from James Maloney means we trail at the break, despite a late Coote penalty.

39'
Goal
Lachlan Coote for Saints

Naiqama is over again in the corner, but the pass is forward from Percival. Fages is caught late in the build-up though and Coote takes the two!

🐉 CATALANS 8-2 SAINTS 😇

38'

Fages catches the Catalans kick and the Dragons are caught offside. Coote kicks for touch…Can we find a try before the break?

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

36'

Percival this time loses the ball in-between three Catalans players. Naiqama is down receiving treatment now…

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

34'

We come again as the ball is moved out to the right through the hands of Fages and Coote, but his pass is intercepted by Yaha and he denies Naiqama a score in the corner.

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

30'

Saints are nearly in as Welsby grasps the high kick and offloads to another Saints interchange, Joe Batchelor who is on for Knowles, but he is trapped on the last.

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

28'

Kyle Amor is now on as Paasi makes way, but Roby knocks on at the play the ball.

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

27'

The Dragons come forward again and Drinkwater puts a kick through, but its touched dead by Naiqama and the hosts will come again after Coote’s goal-line drop out…

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

25'

Catalans fumble the Saints kick off and we have it back following a goal-line drop out. Big Al is now on as LMS makes way for him…Before Thompson loses the ball in a tackle.

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

22'
Goal
James Maloney for Catalans Dragons

Maloney adds the two to his own try and the hosts lead by 8.

🐉 CATALANS 8-0 SAINTS 😇

22'
Try
James Maloney for Catalans Dragons

And Catalans make it count as Maloney slips through a gap in the Saints defence to go over…

🐉 CATALANS 6-0 SAINTS 😇

21'

Catalans put a kick over the top, Naiqama seemed to do well to get out of his own goal, but is penalised by Hicks for not playing the ball correctly…

🐉 CATALANS 2-0 SAINTS 😇

18'

Percival is adjudged to have caught a Catalans player high and the Dragons win a penalty. Maloney kicks for touch and it’s time to defend…

🐉 CATALANS 2-0 SAINTS 😇

16'

Maloney has taken a knock on the head and we have a short break in play…

🐉 CATALANS 2-0 SAINTS 😇

12'
Goal
James Maloney for Catalans Dragons

Catalans win a penalty as LMS is penalised for holding down Julian Bousquet under the sticks. Maloney kicks the two.

🐉 CATALANS 2-0 SAINTS 😇

10'

It looks as though the Naiqama No-Try was chalked off because Kev’s foot was in touch. The video replays seem to agree. Good early pressure none-the-less!

🐉 CATALANS 0-0 SAINTS 😇

NO TRY! The ball is moved from left to right and Percival finds Naiqama who does brilliantly to fly over and finish one handed in the corner, but referee Rob Hicks has disallowed it for what looks like a forward pass…

7'

Paasi, starting at prop today, joins Morgan Knowles in forcing the Catalans knock on and we have it back! A good start from the boys!

🐉 CATALANS 0-0 SAINTS 😇

5'

Percival so nearly grasped hold of a stray Coote pass, but Percy can’t, in the end, keep hold of it. Catalans have the ball in their own half…

🐉 CATALANS 0-0 SAINTS 😇

2'

We have just heard that Sam Tomkins is out of today’s game as is Samisoni Langi who both are late withdrawals for Catalans.

🐉 CATALANS 0-0 SAINTS 😇

1'

We are off and underway here in Perpignan! 🔵⚪

#COYS

Kick off is next! COYS! 🔵⚪️

The boys are out for warm-ups here in Catalans! 🏃🏾‍♂️

Our Saints Women are in the Challenge Cup Final after a 20-12 victory over Leeds in York! We will face York in the Final ahead of the men’s Semi-Final in June! Well in, Ladies!!

The boys are all set here in Catalans! Kick off is at 5pm UK time…

Over in York, our Saints Women lead by 14 points to 8 against Leeds with 20 minutes left…A place in the Challenge Cup Final up for grabs for our Women!

This is how the hosts, Catalans, will line up this evening…

Woolf on Walmsley: “Al has been a bit ill this week so he hasn’t been able to do all the training so we are just looking after him. But it is also good reward for Iggy to start the game – he has been doing a great job!”

Our Saints Women are up at the break in their Challenge Cup Semi-Final as they lead 8-2 against Leeds Rhinos. York are waiting in the Final…

This is how your Saints will line up this evening against Catalans Dragons! 🇫🇷

Over here in Perpignan, the pitch is in good condition and there will be 1000 Catalans fans in the stadium today. We will have team news for you around 3:30pm (UK time)…

Our Saints Women are about to kick off in their semi-final live on BBC Sport website, IPlayer or the red button. Kick off for them is at 3pm over in York. Good luck, girls!

👋 We’ve arrived at the Stade Gilbert Brutus!

The lads are having a look around as they get used to their surroundings for the afternoon! 🏟

We’ve landed safely in Perpignan! Our next stop is the stadium!

Stade Gilbert Brutus here we come! 🏟

It’s also a double header of Saints action today as our Women have a HUGE Challenge Cup semi-final against holders Leeds Rhinos in York which you can watch on BBC’s IPlayer or Red Button from 3pm! Good luck, girls!

Whilst we make the journey over to Catalans, make sure you read our match preview story which you can find on our homepage which includes pre match interviews, the officials and more!

👋 Hello and welcome to our live blog ahead of Saints clash with Catalans Dragons this evening with kick off at 5pm (UK time) live from Stade Gilbert Brutus!

✈️ First up – the flight! We’re on our way to Perpignan!

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