St Helens beat Catalans in fiery season opener – talking points

Josh McAllister
St Helens

St Helens opened their 2022 Super League campaign with a 28-8 victory over Catalans at the Totally Wicked Stadium in the repeat of the 2021 Grand Final.

Four players made their competitive debuts for St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Will Hopoate was named on the wing, while Konrad Hurrell was named at centre.

Joey Lussick and Curtis Sironen both made their first appearances from the bench.

For the Dragons, Mitchell Pearce was named in the halves for his official Catalans debut. Dylan Napa was named at prop, while Tyrone May began the game on the bench. 

It was a fierce start to the campaign with both sides coming together after just the first tackle.

Gil Dudson reacted to a tackle from Joe Batchelor and Hurrell and was shown a yellow card by referee Liam Moore inside the first 60 seconds. 

Watch: Gil Dudson sin-binned in first tackle of new Super League season

The Dragons managed to keep St Helens scoreless despite their advantage, and they were soon rewarded with the first try of the season on 14 minutes.

Winger Fouad Yaha collected a kick to the corner by Josh Drinkwater to score the first four-pointer of the new campaign. Sam Tomkins converting the two for a 6-0 lead.

Tommy Makinson hit back on 23 minutes. Sione Mata’utia with the break to find his winger in support. Dodd couldn’t convert, but St Helens took the lead just five minutes later through skipper James Roby.

Again, St Helens failed to add the two for a score of 8-6.

Talented youngster Dodd did it all himself next, chasing his own grubber kick to extend the home side’s lead on 34 minutes, before Makinson scored again just before half-time.

Tomkins kicked a penalty before the break for a 16-8 score.

HT: St Helens 16-8 Catalans

Dodd kicked the club’s first goal on 54 minutes to extend the home team’s advantage to 18-8. 

On debut, Napa’s game was cut short. The Catalans forward was sent from the field with a red on 71 minutes for a high shot on Mark Percival. 

Lussick secured the victory on 73 minutes, sliding over on debut to give his side a 24-8 victory.

Hurrell intercepted a pass from Tomkins to run over for his first try in new colours on 78 minutes for a 28-8 home victory.

FT: St Helens 28-8 Catalans

St Helens: Welsby, Hopoate, Hurrell, Percival, Makinson, Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Mata’utia, Batchelor, Knowles

Subs: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Sironen, Paasi

Tries: Makinson (2), Roby, Dodd, Lussick.

Goals: Dodd 2

Catalans: Tomkins, Davies, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Pearce, Drinkwater, Dudson, McIlorum, Napa, Whitley, McMeeken, Garcia.

Subs: Bousquet, May, Dezaria, Kasiano. 

Tries: Yaha

Goals: Tomkins 2

Three talking points

St Helens display dominance

St Helens begin their 2022 campaign just how they finished 2021. Kristian Woolf’s side look to make it four in a row, and are favourites to lift the Super League trophy again.

The champions looked solid in defence against Dragons who have threats across the field. They are definitely the team to beat once again this season.

Debutants shine for St Helens

Two players in Lussick and Hurrell crossed for their first tries on their St Helens debut.

Lussick’s try all-but secured the victory on 73 minutes, before Hurrell crossed with an intercept pass.

Sironen and Hopoate also made their St Helens debuts.

Worries for Catalans

Sky Sports reported that Catalans forward Julian Bousquet suffered a possible fractured forearm in the clash.

On his debut, May had to leave the field complaining with an eye injury. Speaking on Sky Sports, Jenna Brooks revealed he had been poked in the eye but nothing serious expected. 

Napa will also likely be punished for his high shot on Percival. He was sent from the field with a red late in the second half.

READ MORE: Kristian Woolf on how Roby and Lussick will combine for St Helens in 2022