Catalans 12-21 St Helens: Saints post second Super League win of the season in France
Last Updated: 10/02/18 9:21pm
St Helens made it back-to-back wins to start their Betfred Super League season as they won 21-12 away to Catalans Dragons.
Jonny Lomax, Regan Grace and Adam Swift scored tries while Danny Richardson kicked nine points. Catalans responded with tries from David Mead and Alrix Da Costa, both converted by Lucas Albert.
Saints came into the game following an opening win over Castleford while Catalans suffered a heavy defeat away to Widnes.
The Saints opened the scoring in the first minute without Catalans touching the ball after kicking off. Ben Barba broke clear down the left, drew the full-back and passed inside to Lomax who raced over to score. Richardson added the conversion to take the score to 6-0.
Catalans worked hard to get back into the game and David Mead burst onto Lucas Albert's inside pass but the Papua New Guinea full-back slipped at the vital moment.
Albert was then unlucky not to level the game as Ben Garcia's offload to the half-back drifted forward.
It was St Helens who managed to extend their lead in the 23rd minute as Lomax and Richardson combined down the right to get the ball to Barba and the full-back produced a smart miss pass to send Grace in for the try. Richardson added the conversion from the touchline.
Some great defence from Zeb Taia and Alex Walmsley kept the Catalans scoreless at the break but the opening stages of the second half saw them build pressure on the Saints line, forcing two goal-line drop-outs, a penalty and two scrums.
That pressure eventually told as Mead picked up and darted over from short range to touch down despite the best efforts of four St Helens defenders.
St Helens were reduced to 12 men in the 52nd minute as Morgan Knowles was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Thibaud Margalet.
Two minutes later and the numbers were temporarily evened up as Catalans' Benjamin Jullien was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle on Lomax.
Swift extended St Helens' lead in the 58th minute with a superb finish down the right as the ball was sent to him from Tommy Makinson. Richardson added the conversion from close to the touchline as St Helens re-established their 12-point advantage.
Da Costa reduced the deficit once again in the 62nd minute as he picked up from acting half and darted over to score after Remi Casty had gone within a metre of the St Helens line. Albert converted to take the score to 12-18.
With 10 minutes remaining Richardson had an opportunity to extend the lead with a penalty attempt but his effort hit the post and bounced clear. From the resulting drop-out, though, St Helens gained good field position to allow Richardson to add a drop goal.
In the closing minutes he booted a further penalty to extend the winning margin to 12-21.