Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th Mar 2017 7:03 PM
After defeat to the Leeds Rhinos in round four the Catalans Dragons were looking to get back to winning ways as they returned home to the Stade Gilbert Brutus to take on a St Helens side who have struggled so far in 2017 and who were languishing in tenth place at kick-off.

Saints were unchanged from the side which lost to Hull FC in round four. For the home side there were a number of changes including backs Yaha and Inu being replacing Broughton and Duport, and Jason Baitieri was in for the injured Greg Bird.

Both sides were desperate for a win and despite the lower than expected league standings of both sides it was a mouthwatering prospect.

It took just eighty seconds for Adam Swift to fly down the left touchline and dive over in the corner after the Dragons had conceded a penalty for a high tackle. Mark Percival kicked the conversion between the sticks from the touchline.

On six minutes Thomas Bosc opened the Dragons account when he took a Luke Walsh pass to crash over. Walsh brushed the far upright but added the extra two to level the scores.

All the signals were there for a try feast when on ten minutes Mark Percival found space wide left to go through a massive gap in the Dragons defence. He failed to add the conversion from the touchline.

On fourteen Julian Bousquet again levelled the scores when he walked through a poor Saints defensive effort off a Walsh pass. Walsh added the extra two forma 12-10 lead.

But the lead lasted just two minutes as a Theo Fages short ball found Ryan Morgan to go over from close to score five in from the right touchline. Percival made sure with the kick to double his sides leading margin.

After a barren fourteen minutes during which both sides has tries (Swift and Myler) chalked off by the video referee Adam Walker bounced off the post pad to cross on his back and despite the attention of three defenders he managed to get the ball onto the ground. Percival kicked the conversion for 22-12.

The temporary drought ended and the Dragons joined the fun when Ian Thornley scored acrobatically wide left and with Walsh adding the extras brilliantly from the touchline it was 18-22 with just over three minutes left on the clock.

As the half-time hooter sounded the Dragons had a Thornley try ruled out for foot in touch and in a half of a point a minute rugby it was the Saints who took their four point advantage into the interval.

Bosc had a try ruled out on forty-four after a Brayden Wiliame pass in the build-up,was adjudged to have been forward.

An incorrect play the ball from Jon Wilkin gifted the Dragons the ball, and two tackles from the scrum Paul Aiton went from acting half-back to ground despite being spun over the line on his back by the Saints defenders. Walsh kicked the extra two to edge his side back into a narrow lead.

Defences were very much in control in the second half, it was almost like watching two different teams, until the seventy-second minute when Jack Owens was at the end of an expansive passing move through a tiring Dragons defence. It was a superb Fages offload which put Owens free to ground and with Percival kicking the conversion it was the Saints who now had a narrow four point lead at 28-24.

The Dragons had a final opportunity but Richie Myler lost the ball on the last tackle and Saints held on for the hard-fought win.

A sloppy first half from both sides was followed by a much tighter second but neither side showed the skill, composure or confidence which we have come to expect from these two great sides. Saints scraped the win but their coach and supporters will not be elated by the nature of it or the looseness of play at times. The Dragons are now without a victory in their last three matches, a total turnaround to their start to the season.

Dragons: Bosc (T), Thornley (T), Inu, Wiliame, Yaha, Walsh (4G), Myler, Baitieri, Horno, Garcia, Mona, Aiton (T), Casty. Subs: Bosquet (T), Simon, Burgess, Da Costa.

Saints: Makinson, Owens (T), Morgan (T), Percival (T, 4G), Swift (T), Fages, Wilkin, Walmsley, Roby, Douglas, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: Amor, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walker (T), Lee.

Referee: Robert Hicks.

Half-Time: 18-22.

Full-Time: 24-28.

Attendance: 8,158.
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FIXTURES/RESULTS

W/D/L DATE COMP HOME AWAY
Sun 23rd Jul SL WAK STS
Thu 6th Jul SL WAK CAS
Sat 1st Jul SL WAK WAR
Sun 11th Jun SL WAK LEE
Fri 26th May SL WAK HUD
Sun 30th Apr SL WAK CAS
Mon 17th Apr SL WAK WIG
Fri 7th Apr SL WAK WID
W Thu 23rd Mar SL WAK 28 24 LEI
W Sun 12th Mar SL WAK 24 22 SAL
L Sun 12th Feb SL WAK 8 12 HFC
L Fri 23rd Sep SL STS 32 12 WAK
L Fri 2nd Sep SL CAS 46 22 WAK
L Sun 21st Aug SL WID 40 8 WAK
L Fri 5th Aug SL WIG 60 12 WAK
W Sat 16th Jul SL CAT 28 30 WAK
L Fri 8th Jul SL WIG 22 18 WAK
W Sun 12th Jun SL HUD 2 10 WAK
L Fri 27th May SL SAL 38 8 WAK
W Fri 29th Apr SL WID 16 18 WAK
W Mon 28th Mar SL LEE 16 20 WAK
L Fri 18th Mar SL HFC 22 4 WAK
L Fri 11th Mar SL STS 44 4 WAK
L Fri 26th Feb SL WAR 34 16 WAK
W Sun 21st Feb SL HKR 12 14 WAK
L Sun 14th Feb SL CAS 40 6 WAK
Tab two Tab three

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