It didn’t take long for the Saints to take an early lead back in front of an unrestricted crowd at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
James Maloney couldn’t find touch from a Catalans penalty in their own half, Saints earnt a repeat set on the Dragons line and after a Lewis Dodd scoot, Jonny Lomax found Tommy Makinson with acres of space and a cut out pass to stroll in on the right wing! Lachlan Coote added the extras from the right touchline to give up a 6-0 lead.
That lead was doubled a few minutes later. The impressive Dodd kicked a loose ball forward and collected it himself to score underneath the sticks, the try being awarded after a video referee review. Coote once again adding the extras to extend our lead to 12-0.
A third Saints try followed in the 17th minute. We were awarded a penalty after a hit off the ball. James Roby’s pass found the floor, Coote picked up the loose ball and found Regan Grace and the returning Welshman somehow stepped past three defenders on the left touchline to score the try. Coote once again added the extras to make it 18-0 to the Saints.
Catalans grabbed their first try of the game in the 23rd minute. Matthieu Laguerre threw a dummy close to the Saints line before sliding over in wet conditions. James Maloney added the extras, 18-6.
Five minutes before the break Joe Chan was sent to the sin bin for a shot off the ball on Sione Mata’utia, Coote converted a penalty from in front of the sticks. And that is how it remained at the break, as an early flurry of Saints tries gave us a 20-6 lead at the break.
Saints started the second half just as well. Joe Batchelor scoring our fourth try after winning the race to a clever Lomax grubber kick. The decision was once again sent to the video referee but the try was given. Coote once again added the extras, 26-6 to the hosts.
Mata’utia was then sent to the sin bin, perhaps harshly, for ten minutes after a late shot of Benjamin Julien. From the resulting penalty the Dragons responded. Mickael Goudemand collecting an Alrix Da Costa pass to score underneath the sticks. Maloney added the extras from in front of the sticks, 16-12.
Coote then added an extra two points for the Saints after Dodd was caught high by Da Costa, 28-12 Saints led with a little over 20 minutes to play.
Another Saints try followed. Roby picked the ball up from dummy half, he found Man of the Match Dodd who exploited a gap but was stopped just short of the line but he kept the ball alive for Coote to score the try. He converted his own try to make it 34-12.
And those were to be the final points of the game as Saints emerged as 34-12 victors against the league leading Catalans Dragons.
Saints Team: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Joel Thompson, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: Sione Mata’utia, Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Jack Welsby.
Tries: Tommy Makinson (4), Lewis Dodd (8), Regan Grace (17), Joe Batchelor (51), Lachlan Coote (70)
Conversions: Lachlan Coote (5 from 5)
Penalties: Lachlan Coote (2 from 2)
Sin Bin: Sione Mata’utia (54)
Catalans Dragons Team: Arthur Mourgue, Romain Franco, Dean Whare, Matthieu Laguerre, Fouad Yaha, James Maloney, Cesar Rouge, Mickael Goudemand, Alrix Da Costa, Gil Dudson, Benjamin Jullien, Mike McMeekan, Joel Tomkins.
Interchanges: Paul Seguier, Corentin Le Cam, Joe Chan, Jordan Dezaria.
Tries: Matthieu Laguerre (23), Mickael Goudemand (55)
Conversions: James Maloney (2 from 2)
Sin Bin: Joe Chan (35)