Super League: Catalan Dragons hang on to beat St Helens
Catalan Dragons held off a late St Helens fightback to record a hard-fought 22-12 triumph at Langtree Park.
Last Updated: 12/04/13 11:17pm
First-half tries from Freddie Vaccari and the impressive Morgan Escare helped the Dragons clinch a third away triumph of the Super League season.
Saints - who have now lost three of their last four outings - threatened to do to their opponents what had been done to them in 2012, when they battled back to within four points in the closing minutes.
However the Dragons once again got a try on the final play of the match at the venue, though this time Ian Henderson's dart from dummy-half wasn't quite so dramatic as Daryl Millard's effort the previous year.
Despite losing Millard - whose try-of-the-season contender was converted by Scott Dureau to secure an amazing 34-32 win last February - through injury, the French club led 12-0 after the opening 40 minutes.
Vaccari finally broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark in the left corner, Thomas Bosc adding the extras having earlier missed a tough penalty attempt from out wide.
They seemed to have scored again when Escare crossed, only for the television official to chalk it off due to a fingertip touch forward by Remi Casty. Still, the exciting prospect was not to be denied next time around, accepting Damien Blanch's ball back on the inside to cruise over the line.
Perhaps smarting from a few choice words from their coach Nathan Brown, Saints showed more purpose after the interval; as the hard-working Sia Soliola started and finished a break after exchanging passes with Jon Wilkin.
Bosc did boot a pair of penalties to open up a 10-point gap but St Helens were thrown a late lifeline when Mickael Simon was yellow-carded for holding Tommy Makinson down in the tackle.
It took until the final seconds of the 10-minute sin-binning for the extra man to tell, replacement forward Alex Walmsley plunging over next to the posts.
Yet despite their best efforts to stun their rivals, Saints couldn't inflict revenge for what happened 14 months ago. A loose pass effectively ended their hopes and allowed the Dragons to break down the other end for Henderson to score.