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Two of Super League’s form sides met at the Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan as the Catalans Dragons welcomed the league leading and unbeaten St Helens to play a game in front of a thousand Dragons supporters, the first time fans had been allowed into the ground since last September.

Saints were the favourites for their seventh win of the 2021 season, but the Dragons were old given a six-point start on the coupon as a competitive game was forecast.

The Dragons knew that they would need to start brightly to avoid the thrashing that they had suffered in their last two encounters with the Saints but with Sam Tomkins and Samisoni Langi both being withdrawn after the warm-up, Steve McNamara was forced into some potentially unsettling team changes very close to kick-off.

Kevin Naiqama had a seemingly good try ruled out by the referee on seven, without consulting the video official, as he scored spectacularly in the right corner. A video slow-motion validated the decision as the Saints winger clearly had a foot in touch.

On twelve it was the Dragons who got the scoreboard moving when James Maloney kicked a fifteen-metre penalty goal for a 2-0 lead.

On twenty-two the Dragons made full use of a penalty when Maloney threw the dummy and dipped the shoulder to run in the try on the second tackle and make it 6-0. He added the conversion to his own try to increase the punishment for Saints indiscretion.

Saints had their chances, none clearer than ninety seconds from the interval when Naiqama was denied by a forward pass, but it was a late tackle on Theo Fages that allowed Saints to get back within six of their hosts when Lachlan Coote kicked the two pointer in the half time hooter.

A minute after the restart Regan Grace lost the ball inside his own ten metre zone and a sensational pick up and back handed pass from Mike McMeeken into the hands of Dean Whare allowed a walk-in try. Maloney added the conversion for a twelve-point lead.

Saints fist four-pointer came on fifty minutes when Mark Percival took a Coote short pass to crash over from five metres out. Coote pulled his kick wide of the posts, Saints still eight adrift.

Benjamin Jullien was over on fifty-five as the Dragons refused to yield to the Saints. Great hands gave Jullien space to throw the dummy and drop the right shoulder to coast in for the Dragons third try of the afternoon. Maloney added the extras to open a fourteen-point lead with just over twenty minutes left on the clock.

Three consecutive penalties conceded by the Dragons gifted Saints position and possession on seventy and on the third tackle Percival found a gap to bust the Catalans line for his second of the game.  Coote added the conversion from wide, the lead narrowed to eight points with nine minutes remaining.

The Dragons were forced to drop out from under their own sticks with five remaining and four tackles in Grace managed to duck under the defenders to get the ball to ground, taking a knock to the head for his trouble. Coote couldn’t add the conversion, Saints still four adrift with three minutes remaining.

Saints knocked-on as they tried to force the pass and chase the win and back in possession the Dragons managed to run the clock down by keeping hold of the ball. The handover happened with thirty seconds remaining but the clock ran down to sound a Dragons win.

This was a vital win for the Dragons, and a disappointing loss for the Saints. The Dragons are now level on win-percentage with the Champions as Wigan go top thanks to their slender win at Salford earlier in the day. Saints have dropped to second spot but even this early in the season it is looking like Catalans are justified contenders for the 2021 crown alongside Saints and Wigan.

Catalans Dragons: Mourgue, Yaha, Laguerre, Whare (T), Davies, Drinkwater, Maloney (T, 4G), Bousquet, McIlorum, Dudson, Jullien (T), McMeeken, Garcia. Subs: Dezaria, Goudemand, Tomkins J, Kasiano.

St Helens: Coote (2G), Naiqama, Percival (2T), Welsby, Grace (T), Lomax, Fages, Paasi, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Mata’utia, Thompson, Knowles. Subs: Walmsley, Amor, Batchelor, Dodd.

Half-Time: 8-2.

Full-Time: 20-16.

Referee: Rob Hicks.

Score Progression: 2-0, 6-0, 8-0, 8-2 : HT : 12-2, 14-2, 14-6, 18-6, 20-6, 20-10, 20-12, 20-16  : FT.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd May 2021 6:55 PM | Views : 9017 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES
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SLRND: 15 Wigan25-12Wakefield
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WSL RND: 9 St.HelensW24-0WakefieldW
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Sat 17th Jul
NRL RND: 18 Canberra34-18Cronulla
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This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2021 ROUND : 18
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Melbourne 17 632 198 434 30
Penrith 17 493 179 314 30
Souths 17 503 346 157 28
Parramatta 17 474 255 219 26
Sydney 17 453 335 118 22
Manly 17 485 354 131 20
St.George 17 358 382 -24 16
Cronulla 17 326 394 -68 14
 
Canberra 17 347 421 -74 14
Newcastle 17 283 420 -137 14
Gold Coast 17 394 468 -74 12
Wests 17 372 502 -130 12
NQL Cowboys 17 324 527 -203 12
NZ Warriors 17 333 426 -93 10
Brisbane 17 282 542 -260 8
Canterbury 17 212 522 -310 4
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVI ROUND : 15
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Catalans 13 387 196 191 24 197.45 92.31
St.Helens 12 286 96 190 20 297.92 83.33
Warrington 13 408 213 195 19 191.55 73.08
Wigan 15 247 268 -21 20 92.16 66.67
Hull FC 12 286 215 71 15 133.02 62.50
Hull KR 10 241 212 29 12 113.68 60
 
Leeds 14 332 251 81 14 132.27 50
Castleford 14 251 354 -103 12 70.90 42.86
Salford 14 237 405 -168 8 58.52 28.57
Huddersfield 15 244 318 -74 8 76.73 26.67
Wakefield 15 259 354 -95 8 73.16 26.67
Leigh 13 212 508 -296 0 41.73 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2021 ROUND : 13
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Toulouse 9 433 88 345 18 492.05 100
Featherstone 12 537 136 401 24 394.85 100
Bradford 12 324 279 45 18 116.13 75
Halifax 13 358 171 187 18 209.36 69.23
LondonB 13 374 337 37 17 110.98 65.38
Batley 13 328 274 54 16 119.71 61.54
 
Newcastle 12 272 358 -86 11 75.98 45.83
Widnes 13 307 344 -37 11 89.24 42.31
Sheffield 13 285 373 -88 11 76.41 42.31
Whitehaven 13 249 372 -123 9 66.94 34.62
Dewsbury 13 197 379 -182 9 51.98 34.62
York 13 299 317 -18 8 94.32 30.77
Oldham 12 166 442 -276 4 37.56 16.67
Swinton 13 224 483 -259 0 46.38 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2021 ROUND : 10
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Barrow 10 342 150 192 17 228 85
Workington 9 334 158 176 15 211.39 83.33
Doncaster 9 308 189 119 14 162.96 77.78
Keighley 10 348 239 109 10 145.61 50
Rochdale 10 279 280 -1 10 99.64 50
Crusaders 10 278 318 -40 10 87.42 50
 
Coventry 8 204 240 -36 8 85 50
Hunslet 10 268 257 11 8 104.28 40
LondonS 8 154 292 -138 2 52.74 12.50
West Wales 10 122 514 -392 0 23.74 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Womens Super League 2021 ROUND : 9
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LeedsW 7 364 38 326 14 957.89 100
St.HelensW 7 370 36 334 12 1,027.78 85.71
WiganW 6 222 64 158 10 346.88 83.33
YorkW 6 186 102 84 8 182.35 66.67
CastlefordW 6 166 96 70 8 172.92 66.67
BradfordW 8 158 264 -106 6 59.85 37.50
 
Hudds W 7 104 288 -184 4 36.11 28.57
Wire W 8 150 334 -184 4 44.91 25
FeatherstoneW 8 122 338 -216 4 36.09 25
WakefieldW 7 50 332 -282 0 15.06 0
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