Catalans 10-12 St Helens: Talking Points and Player Ratings

St Helens made it three straight Super League titles after a thrilling 12-10 victory over Catalans Dragons at Old Trafford.

Two tries from Kevin Naiqama, who also won the Harry Sunderland Trophy, was enough for Saints to claim victory.

Here are our main talking points from the game.

Mata’utia lucky?

Sione Mata’utia and James Maloney clash with Morgan Knowles and Sam Tomkins also coming in. Credit: News Images

In the early stages of the match, Sione Mata’utia and James Maloney clashed off the ball. The result of which saw Maloney aim his elbow towards the throat of Mata’utia, who then retaliated by throwing a punch. The referee just waved the incident away at the time, and was not looked at until quite a few minutes later when there was a stoppage in play. Would Mata’utia have been sent off had the incident been reviewed properly?

Catalans Unlucky

Fouad Yaha is stopped by Tommy Makinson. Credit: News Images

The Dragons were on the end of a few harsh calls. The incident which saw Tommy Makinson sent to the sin bin, where he caught Fouad Yaha high as he was about to go for the try-line, only saw a standard penalty and a yellow card for Makinson. Surely if Makinson doesn’t make that contact, then Yaha scores? It was not too dissimilar to the incident at Magic Weekend when the two sides faced each other, when Joe Batchelor was taken out illegally by James Maloney close to the try-line, this felt very similar, and both should have been given as penalty tries.

Saints defensively on it

In their last three Super League Grand Finals, Saints have conceded just two tries. Credit: News Images

Kristian Woolf eluded to it after the game that he did not think any other side in the competition could have survived the barrage of attacks Catalans were throwing at them in the last 10 minutes.  The big thing Woolf has done at Saints is taking them to another level defensively, and they had to make sure they were on it to combat an increasingly desperate Catalans side. The only blot on the copybook was a try conceded in the second half courtesy of Mike McMeeken. The fact Catalans chose to take two points while down by four is a sign of what they thought of Saints’ defence.

Catalans can hold their heads high

A dejected Benjamin Garcia at the final whistle. Credit: News Images

They may have fallen at the final hurdle, but it has still been an incredible season for the Dragons. To become the first non-English side to finish top of the Super League standings, and then to become the first non-English side to reach the Old Trafford showpiece, is something to be really proud of. They have captured the imaginations of the French sporting world, with titles like L’Equipe taking an interest in the Dragons.

Empty Seats

Old Trafford saw its lowest attendance for a Super League Grand Final since 1998. Credit: News Images

It was always going to be the case that there would be empty seats around Old Trafford. Catalans did well to bring a number of their supporters over, and they should be applauded for coming over, particularly whilst we are still living in a global pandemic. However, more could potentially have been done to try and fill more seats. The RFL and the Super League were sending emails to fans of other clubs asking them to be a “Dragon for a Day”, but it was still the lowest number of fans at a Super League Grand Final since 1998, when Wigan beat Leeds in the first one.

Player Ratings

Catalans Dragons

Sam Tomkins-7

Tom Davies-6

Samisoni Langi-7

Dean Whare-5

Fouad Yaha-7

James Maloney-7

Josh Drinkwater-8

Gil Dudson-7

Micky McIlorum-7

Julian Bousquet-6

Matt Whitley-7

Mike McMeeken-7

Ben Garcia-7

Subs

Arthur Mourgue-6

Mickael Goudemand-7

Joel Tomkins-6

Sam Kasiano-6

St Helens

Lachlan Coote-7

Tommy Makinson-6

Kevin Naiqama-8

Mark Percival-7

Regan Grace-7

Jonny Lomax-7

Lewis Dodd-7

Alex Walmsley-7

James Roby-7

Matty Lees-7

Sione Mata’utia-6

Joe Batchelor-8

Morgan Knowles-7

Subs

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook-6

Kyle Amor- N/A (Did not get on)

Agnatius Paasi-6

Jack Welsby-7

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Jaybs
Jaybs
3 months ago

My Vote for Man of the Match went to Sam Tomkins, what he had to go through to play the full game and be so influential was superb, Josh Drinjwater deserves his 8 points. I am not sure with the 8 for Saints Joe Batchelor, with his serious error with the pass close to the end, near the line! Again, so many questionable decisions! first the long kick to touch, which the linesman got completely wrong, by James Maloney, if Saints had scored from that it would have been an injustice! I think it is time to stop allowing the ball to patted back into play when it has gone over the line! WHY do we not operate more like The NRL Bunker, how video referee is becoming a joke, why was a penalty try not awarded? was that a red card? the head tackle by Sione Mata’utia was serious,… Read more »