Tonight St Helens and Catalans Dragons are doing battle knowing they will meet the winner of Wigan Warriors vs Hull KR in the Grand Final next week.
In an error strewn start to the game, Catalans thought they had scored first.
Mitchell Pearce grubbered behind the Saints defence after an offload from Tyrone May. Jonny Lomax was unable to deal with it. As he went to ground, Tom Johnstone touched the ball down.
The try was sent to the video referee by Chris Kendall as no try and that decision was agreed with as it was deemed that Johnstone had pushed Lomax despite the fact Barrie McDermott felt it was “a fair challenge.”
A few moments later, Catalans were given a penalty themselves for a push this time from Lomax on Sam Tomkins.
Lomax had vehemently claimed to have been pushed when the try was denied.
The clash is a repeat of the 2021 Grand Final of which Saints won 12-10 however this is a much-changed St Helens side with their point scorers that night, Lachlan Coote and Kevin Naiqama, no longer with the club.
Friday night could also see a changing of the guard among the current squad as it could well be the final ever game for James Roby and Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, both of whom will retire at the end of the current season.
Whether Saints or Catalans win in Perpignan on Friday night it will mark the final ever game for one of Super League’s greats as Dragons’ stand-off Sam Tomkins is also set to retire, meaning one of Roby or Tomkins will get their ‘Last Dance’ at Old Trafford and the other’s career will sadly end on Friday.
It also could be the final game representing Les Dracs for many other players with Mitchell Pearce also set to retire whilst Mikael Goudemand, Adam Keighran, Tyrone May and Matt Whitley are all confirmed as leaving the Gilbert Brutus at the end of the season.
Neither team enter the game with any suspension issues after Saints star Alex Walmsley avoided a ban for his high shot against Warrington Wolves last week, whereas the Dragons are coming off a bye week themselves.