Catalans Dragons and St Helens played out one of the most enjoyable games of the Super League season on Saturday afternoon.
It was an incredible game from start to finish as both 2021 Super League Grand Finalists put on a show in front of the Sky Sports cameras, with the French side eventually running out 20-18 winners.
Sione Mata’utia crossed early for Saints with Tommy Makinson delivering his trademark finish moments later. However, Makinson missed both conversions as the Red Vee moved into an 8-0 lead.
Things got worse for Catalans when Dylan Napa was sinbinned for a dangerous shot, but that actually seemed to kick the Dragons into life.
For Sky Sports pundit and former St Helens forward, Jon Wilkin, that dangerous tackle was not good enough for someone of Napa’s stature.
“It’s just not good enough for a relatively experienced player to be sent off in round one and then be sinbinned here,” Wilkin said.
“For me he has let his team down here – impress in your physicality is important and winning that physicality is important but Dylan Napa was not in control there.”
Catalans turned the screw and Matthieu Laguerre was somehow able to finish in the corner despite the attention of Jonny Lomax whilst Josh Drinkwater was able to latch onto a Fouad Yaha kick through to take the lead going into the break at 10-8.
Ben Davies finished well to put Saints into a 12-10 lead, but Samisoni Langi continued the tit-for-tat nature as the game approached the hour.
However, the Dragons set up a two-score cushion when Mitchell Pearce threw out a world-class pass to Arthur Romano who was able to feed Dean Whare back on the inside to make it 20-12.
Jack Welsby scored almost instantly, pinching the ball off a shocked Sam Kasiano to canter over under the posts, but Catalans held on for a priceless two points, though Napa will wait nervously to see the Disciplinary Match Review Panel’s verdict.