Steve McNamara blasts Dylan Napa sinbin and Jack Welsby try as he reveals ‘adversity’ before and during St Helens win

Catalans Dragons were able to just about get over the line against St Helens in what was a rip-roaring affair at the Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday evening.

The French side came from behind twice to inflict a first defeat on Saints for the first time in six games.

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.

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.

And, Catalans boss Steve McNamara revealed just how difficult the preparation had been for this fixture.

“It was a difficult week, it was a six day turnaround from Cas with the travel,” McNamara said.

“The injuries we suffered at Cas and the illness this morning we suffered put us down to our last 17 players.

“We had lots of adversity before the game and during the game and I don’t want to get carried away but that is a great performance from the team given the adversity.

“There are some players that were playing that weren’t 100%. To come back from two tries down in this weather was phenomenal. I thought we were the better team.”

McNamara was, however, disappointed by the yellow card shown to Dylan Napa for a shot on Ben Davies, as well as Jack Welsby’s one-on-one steal on Sam Kasiano which led to a try for the Saints man.

“I thought it was a very harsh sinbinning, it was a hard tackle but we actually began to move better after that.

“I disagreed when Sam Kasiano had the ball stolen. He got bumped off and then he stole the ball and I don’t think you can do that. I will speak to an official downstairs.”

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Robert Owen
Robert Owen
1 month ago

Saints had four 1st team backs out. Great game.