Catalans Dragons inflicted a fourth defeat of the season on St Helens as they came from 12-0 down to win 24-12 on Friday night in the Betfred Super League.
The hosts started the game brightly but it was in fact the reigning champions St Helens who took the lead. Alex Walmsley got over the try line underneath the sticks after a good set restart by James Roby. It was the Saints’ first attack of the game and they made the Dragons pay - with Tommy Makinson adding the extras.
Makinson then made an incredible tackle on Tom Davies, who seemed destined to pull a try back for Catalans, right by the line. You won’t see many better challenges than that all season.
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After a brief injury scare, Konrad Hurrell was the architect of St Helens’ second try. He sprinted forward and covered a lot of ground and released the ball to Jack Welsby, who went under the sticks as Walmsley did before him. Makinson made it two successful kicks from two and the Saints demonstrated their ruthlessness as they made it two tries from two attacks.
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Catalans didn’t let their heads drop and they continued to push for a route back into the match. They saw openings that they could exploit and that is what Arthur Mourgue did as he pulled one back for his side, with Adam Keighran converting to halve the deficit. Matt Ikuvalu and Keighran got the Dragons level just before the break and they were on the ascendancy as the Saints started to look a bit rattled.
This was telling as Sam Royle gave away a cheap penalty minutes after the restart. Keighran opted for the two and put the Dragons in front for the first time in the match. The hosts extended their lead through Davies as no one was able to deny him on the second occasion. He was sent away by a great pass by Ikavalu and was able to dive over the line, but it did take the video assistant to confirm the try. Keighran stepped up to convert again and Catalans moved 20-12 in front.
Davies got over for a second time in the game over 10 minutes later as he pounced on a crossfield kick and once again had to be ratified by the video assistant. Keighran didn’t capitalise with his kick but the Dragons had extended their lead to 12 points.
The Saints tried to rally late on to claw their way back into the match but Catalans stood tall and were resilient in their defending. They were determined to hold on for the two points and secure their seventh win of the campaign.
The Dragons turned in a great performance and has only strengthened their credentials as potential play-off contenders. This was a huge victory for French rugby. As for the Saints, they have still got a lot of work to do if they are to have a chance of retaining their crown, especially with this game being their third successive away defeat.