Catalans 22-26 St Helens: Late Saints comeback earns revenge for cup exit
Last Updated: 09/09/18 11:36am
St Helens went some way to avenging their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Catalans Dragons with a last-gasp 26-22 comeback win in the Betfred Super League Super 8s.
Saints came back from a 10-point deficit in the first half and an eight-point deficit in the second to seal a vital two points in the race to win the League Leaders' Shield.
The win gives them a six-point advantage at the top of the table with three games to go and - with a vastly superior points difference over their rivals - effectively earns them the Shield.
Jonny Lomax starred for the visitors, filling in at full-back for the absent Ben Barba, while matchwinner Morgan Knowles impressed following the late withdrawal of club captain James Roby.
Catalans opened the scoring with a solo effort from Papua New Guinea captain David Mead, who picked up and dived over from acting half after a great tackle from Zeb Taia held Greg Bird a metre short of the St Helens line.
Although Josh Drinkwater missed the conversion attempt, Remi Casty soon doubled the hosts' lead, a sequence of offloads from Mickael Simon, Casty and Drinkwater saw the Catalans captain pick up the loose ball and dive over to score from close range to the right of the posts - Drinkwater converted.
Mark Percival narrowed the deficit as Lomax sent Regan Grace away down the left wing, he drew the full-back and offloaded inside for the supporting Percival to touched down. Danny Richardson added the conversion.
Both sides had tries ruled out for obstruction before Drinkwater extended the Catalans lead with a penalty from 25 metres out.
Former Catalans junior Theo Fages scored a solo effort for the visitors, dummying one way and darting over to score under the posts. Richardson's conversion brought Saints level at 12-12.
Sam Moa was sent to the sin-bin in the 33rd minute for a late tackle on Aaron Smith and Danny Richardson kicked the 30-metre penalty to put Saints in front for the first time in the game.
Matty Lees had a try ruled out for a double movement shortly before half-time, before Kenny Edwards lost the ball in the act of scoring.
The hosts were ahead five minutes after half-time when Iain Thornley touched down in the left corner following a smart wide pass from Tony Gigot - Drinkwater converting.
And it was 22-14 after Kenny Edwards fended off two would-be St Helens defenders and scored in the corner.
However, Lomax touched down under the posts with nine minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish, Richardson's conversion reducing the deficit to two points.
Then Knowles produced a superb try to seal the win for the visitors, barging his way over the line and three would-be Catalans defenders to score - and Richardson's conversion meant their winning margin was four points.