There are times you think you’ve seen it all, well you’ve never seen anything quite like this.
As Catalans prepared for their televised Super League match with St Helens live on Sky Sports, several bulls were paraded in front of the crowd at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
But one managed to escape the grip of its handler and started running towards the Dragons players, who were wearing red training tops.
That forced them all to retreat for cover, with humorous pictures showing the likes of Ben Garcia hopping in to the stands as the bull marauded around the try line.
Eventually it was brought back in to the control of the handlers – but it was certainly pre-match entertainment the like of which we have never seen!
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) May 5, 2023
The prize-winning bulls were brought to the ground by Catalans owner Bernard Guasch, who is head of the Catalan Cattle Breeders’ association.
Three bulls and two cows of the same Gascon breed were present at the game in the pre-match fanzone and for a lap of honour around the pitch.
The Dragons said it was to show support for local breeding and a unique opportunity to showcase their expertise.
Bernard's bulls are here…
— Catalan Media 🇨🇵 (@catalanmedia) May 5, 2023
Having survived their skirmish with livestock, the Dragons got the game underway against St Helens in a repeat of the 2021 Grand Final.
Former England captain Sam Tomkins was named in the starting line-up at scrum half, as he continues to build up to full match fitness following a knee injury.
Catalans handed a debut to recent recruit from the NRL, Matthew Ikuvalu, signed recently from Cronulla Sharks.
Captain Garcia started at hooker in the continued absence of Michael McIlorum, with Mike McMeeken named at loose forward.
Seven Frenchmen made the starting line-up for the hosts.
St Helens welcomed back several players who sat out last weekend’s international, with Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley and Matty Lees all in the starting line-up.
Impressive young forward George Delaney retained his place in the 17 following his fine showings of late in the absence of the likes of Morgan Knowles, still serving a suspension for a hip-drop tackle.
Alex Walmsley crashed over for the first try of the match after 12 minutes, before a brilliant break by Konrad Hurrell set up a try for Jack Welsby.
Hurrell would later be sinbinned shortly before half time, and was joined by Sio Taukeiaho for a high contact on Welsby in the final minute.
Catalans scored 24 unanswered points to reverse their 12-0 deficit and win 24-12 and consolidate their place in Super League’s top four.
Catalans team: Mourgue, Davies, Keighran, Ikuvalu, Johnstone, Pearce, Tomkins, Dezaria, Garcia, Bousquet, Whitley, Seguier, McMeeken. Subs: Ma’u, Navarrete, Taukeiaho, Chan.
St Helens: Welsby, Ritson, Hurrell, Hopoate, Makinson, Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Royle, Batchelor, Bell. Subs: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wingfield, Delaney.