The Morning After: Relentless Saints, beast Joe Batchelor & Napa sees red

Drew Darbyshire
Joe Batchelor St Helens

The Morning After looks at three talking points from the latest Super League action.

Relentless Saints

Lewis Dodd and Jack Welsby St Helens
Lewis Dodd (left) and Jack Welsby (right) celebrate Dodd’s try

Last night St Helens showed just why they have won the Super League Grand Final three years in a row as they beat Catalans 28-8 in the opening game of the Super League season. The word relentless sums Kristian Woolf’s side perfectly.

We all know that Saints have plenty of strike in attack. They never struggle scoring points and they’ve got one of the most exciting British half-backs in the game in young Lewis Dodd.

But the most impressive point about their display against Catalans was their urgency in defence. They did the simple things to an elite standard from the first whistle to the last. They were so fast out of the line and kept the huge Catalans pack in tight spaces. Every single one of Saints’ kick chases were superb.

Beast Joe Batchelor

Joe Batchelor joined St Helens ahead of the 2019 from Championship York. The 27-year-old has had to work incredibly hard to make his way into Woolf’s plans but his hard work has paid off.

He spent the majority of the 2019 season on loan with York and Leigh. He enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2021, playing 22 games for the Saints first team.

Woolf put his faith in Batchelor ahead of the 2022 campaign, giving him the 12 shirt, which was vacated by James Bentley.

Batchelor was on top form last night against Catalans. He made 43 tackles against a big Dragons side whilst busting four tackles from seven carries. It was probably his best game yet for St Helens.

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Dylan Napa sees red

Dylan Napa Catalans Dragons red card
Referee Liam Moore gives a red card to Dylan Napa of Catalans Dragons

It was a mixed debut for Catalans’ new signing Dylan Napa. He impressed in the time he was on the field and put himself about, causing problems for the St Helens defence.

However, he was sent off in the 71st minute for a high shot on Saints centre Mark Percival. It was a definite red card and he will probably cop a ban for a couple of weeks as a result.

Napa is one of those players who you just enjoy watching. He certainly likes to mix it up in the middle and he will be a big player for the Dragons in 2022. We could also see him line up for the Cook Islands in the World Cup at the end of the year, too.

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