|Betfred Super League|
|Catalans (10) 18|
|Tries: Yaha, Tomkins, Gigot Goals: Tomkins 3|
|St Helens (10) 10|
|Tries: Peyroux, Makinson Goals: Coote|
St Helens saw their 100% Super League record in 2019 ended with an 18-10 defeat by Catalans Dragons on a gluepot of a Stade Gilbert Brutus surface.
Catalans were thrashed 42-0 at Wigan in their last outing but in at times teeming rain, Steve McNamara’s side were reinvigorated on home turf.
The sides traded tries in an ugly, error-strewn first half.
Sam Tomkins tucked over a penalty for the lead after the break, and Tony Gigot’s try sealed the Dragons’ win.
Justin Holbrook’s side, who slip to second behind Warrington on points difference, had won all eight of their games before heading over to Perpignan, and might have fancied their chances against a Catalans team described by coach Steve McNamara as “disgraceful” in their last outing.
However, just as fellow pacesetters Warrington found on their trip to the south of France earlier this season, the Dragons are formidable at home regardless of their recent results.
Dream Team half-back Danny Richardson, restored to the Saints side for this game for the first time this term, created the opening try when his clip through was grounded by Dom Peyroux.
The lead was cut shortly after when Fouad Yaha tracked a Tomkins grubber to score, but Saints retook the lead when Tommy Makinson hit a fizzing cut-out ball from Lachlan Coote to cross.
Tomkins got a try of his own when he collected a ricochet from Yaha to go over in the corner and level things up.
Although the sun came out, the damage had been done to the pitch by the soggy weather and the game deteriorated into a battle of attrition.
Saints were penalised close into the posts by referee Robert Hicks, and Tomkins opted for the goal to edge the Dragons into the lead.
In response, Saints mounted wave after wave of attacks and tempers boiled throughout in the sapping conditions but the Dragons kept shutting them out.
Gigot’s late try, racing onto a Lucas Albert grubber, provided the daylight Catalans needed and confirmed that Saints’ impervious start had finally come to an end.
Catalans: Tomkins; Yaha, Langi, Wiliame, Tierney; Gigot, Smith; Bousquet, Da Costa, Moa, Jullien, Whitley, Casty.
Replacements: Bird, Goudemand, Albert, Kasiano.
St Helens: Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace; Welsby, Richardson; Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Z. Taia, Peyroux, Peyroux
Replacements: Paulo, Amor, Lees, Ashworth.