St Helens just fell short in the south of France with Catalans Dragons inflicting a 20-18 defeat on the Saints at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The Merseysiders were in the game until the very last whistle and could have won it had they kicked their conversions.
However, Tommy Makinson was wayward with three conversions whilst Sam Tomkins managed to kick two of his which was effectively the difference in the end.
Sione Mata’utia crossed early for Saints with 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.
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 had other ideas, though, pinching the ball from Sam Kasiano for a one-on-one steal after the kick-off to bring Saints back to within two.
Arthur Romano was able to force Regan Grace into touch with six minutes left and that proved key as Catalans held on.
Saints head coach Kristian Woolf revealed that he was happy with the performance but that his side didn’t take their chances to win the game.
“It was a good game of footy, I thought we played well and we turned up to play – we were physical and had a nice effort in us,” Woolf said.
“The difference was we didn’t quite take our chances with the conversions whilst they took their chances and that was the difference in the game.
“It hurts when we’ve got two new blokes in the centres and Sione (Mata’utia) playing out of position.
“We are short there are the moment but that is just part of the game.”
Saints now play the Wigan Warriors at the Magic Weekend in the next round of fixtures.