St Helens comfortably beat Catalans

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens eased past Catalans to stay at the top of the Super League table.

Justin Holbrook made two changes to his St Helens side that thrashed Salford Red Devils last week. James Roby and Luke Douglas came in for Ben Barba and Matty Lees.

Catalans coach Steve McNamara made three changes to his team that beat Hull FC last time out. Vincent Duport, Julian Bousquet and Alrix Da Costa replaced David Mead, Mika Simon and Benjamin Garcia.

It was a slow start to the game at the Totally Wicked Stadium, with both sides making a couple of errors. It was the hosts who posted the first points as Jonny Lomax latched onto a grubber from Tommy Makinson to score. Danny Richardson converted to put his side 6-0 up.

Makinson took a Richardson kick brilliantly to touch down out wide. The conversion was missed, but Saints were 10-0 to the good after 15 minutes.

Fiji international Brayden Wiliame pulled one back for Catalans on the half hour mark. He cottoned onto a well-weighted grubber from Josh Drinkwater to score. Drinkwater failed to convert, St Helens 10-4 Catalans.

It took just two minutes for Saints to reply though. Wales forward Morgan Knowles fended off a couple of Catalans defenders to extend Saints’ lead. Richardson added the extras to put his team 16-4 ahead at the break.

St Helens were in again just four minutes after the restart. They passed it along the line to Regan Grace who scored out wide. Richardson couldn’t add the extras, but Saints were 20-4 in front.

The Dragons quickly replied with a try of their own though. Drinkwater passed the ball wide to Jodie Broughton who showed a clean pair of heels to finish well in the corner. Catalans still trailed 20-8 though after 48 minutes.

Jon Wilkin thought he had scored for Saints on the hour mark, but it was ruled out by video referee Ben Thaler for a double movement when going over.

Wales ace Grace put the game out of reach in the 69thminute. He got his second of the game following a superb passing move from Saints. Richardson’s boot took the score to 26-8 in favour of Saints.

Catalans scored a consolation try with just a couple of minutes remaining. They used the blind side and Lewis Tierney finished excellently in the corner. Drinkwater failed to convert and St Helens ran-out comfortable 26-12 winners to stay at the top of the Super League table.

St Helens: Lomax; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Fages, Richardson; Amor, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin. Subs: Smith, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Knowles.

Catalans: Gigot; Broughton, Duport, Wiliame, Tierney; Langi, Drinkwater; Casty, McIlorum, Bousquet, Anderson, Jullien, Bird. Subs: Moa, Baitieri, Maria, Da Costa.

Starman: Jonny Lomax was brilliant for St Helens at full-back. He troubled the Catalans defence several times and was safe under the high ball.

Attendance: 9,138