Catalans 26 Saints 16

Keiron Cunningham
Keiron Cunningham
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SAINTS lost again in France courtesy of Scott Dureau, whose boot proved the difference between the sides in the opening round of the Super 8s.

Dureau kicked 12 points and created his team’s opening score as the hosts shocked the Saints to keep alive their slim chances of reaching the end-of-season semi-finals.

Ben Pomeroy was dismissed for a shoulder charge to the head on St Helens’ Josh Jones three minutes into the second half.

The Catalans opened the scoring in the 12th minute, when Dureau’s neat kick to the in-goal area was touched down by Tony Gigot. Dureau converted.

Dureau added a penalty goal on 20 minutes to take the score to 8-0.

St Helens captain Luke Walsh scored the Saints’ first try after good work by Adam Swift down the left. Walsh added the extras to narrow the deficit to 8-6.

The home team extended their lead on the half-hour mark, Louis Anderson charging on to Ian Henderson’s short ball to score. Dureau converted to restored the Catalans’ eight-point cushion.

Good work by Adam Quinlan created Saints’ second try five minutes before half-time as Matty Dawson dotted down in the right corner, but this time Walsh could not add the conversion.

There was time before the interval for Morgan Escare to extend the Catalans’ lead, racing over from 60 metres out. Dureau converted to take the score to 20-10.

The Catalans’ ambitions were hindered three minutes after the break as Pomeroy was sent off for a shoulder charge to the head, but the 12 men made light of their numerical disadvantage and went on to stretch their advantage through two penalty goals from Dureau.

Joe Greenwood scored close to the posts from Walsh’s flat pass, however, and Walsh added the extras to take the score to 24-16.

Saints were then aggrieved to have a try ruled out by the video referee for obstruction as Greg Richards looked to have scored.

But, with Dureau off the field injured, Krisnan Inu added a last-minute penalty to seal a memorable win for the Catalans.