Sam Taylor reviews the first game back as Super League returned, with St Helens taking on Catalans at Headingley. Here’s how the game went.
|11th||Goal Lachlan Coote (St Helens)||St Helens 2-0|
|15th||Try Lachlan Coote (St Helens)||St Helens 6-0|
|25th||Try James Bentley (St Helens)||St Helens 10-0|
|32nd||Try Zeb Taia (St Helens)||St Helens 14-0|
|33rd||Goal Lachlan Coote (St Helens)||St Helens 16-0|
|44th||Try Lachlan Coote (St Helens)||St Helens 20-0|
|46th||Goal Lachlan Coote (St Helens)||St Helens 22-0|
|52nd||Try Tommy Makinson (St Helens)||St Helens 26-0|
|54th||Goal Lachlan Coote (St Helens)||St Helens 28-0|
|60th||Try James Maloney (Catalans Dragons)||St Helens 28-4|
|61st||Goal James Maloney (Catalans Dragons)||St Helens 28-6|
|70th||Try Alex Walmsley (St Helens)||St Helens 32-6|
|72nd||Goal Lachlan Coote (St Helens)||St Helens 34-6|
St Helens had started the season with very patchy form, losing their last two against Huddersfield and Castleford respectively. Catalans were impressive in their start, losing just once in four games. The break seemed to have benefit the Saints the most though, as they started very brightly.
Before kick-off, both teams took a knee to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Credit to both teams as the pace was relentless in the first 15 minutes.
Catalans had the first chance but Mark Percival put in a superb tackle to force Tom Davies into touch.
The Saints got their first try in typical St Helens fashion, as a slick one-touch ball inside led to Lachlan Coote scoring.
James Bentley celebrated his one-year contract extension by reacting to a grubber to just get his fingertips on the ball ahead of Fouad Yaha.
St Helens were the far better team and their mobile pack showed that they were far more suited to the six again rule.
Jonny Lomax added another try assist to his record as a delayed short ball led to Zeb Taia crashing over to make it 16-0 at half time.
The Saints applied more pressure after the break and made it count as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook burst through a gap in the defence to offload to Lomax who then fed Coote for his second of the match.
Coote then turned from scorer to provider as long cut-out ball found Tommy Makinson who then cut inside to score only his second try of the season.
The Saints’ defence was superb for three-quarters of the match and Catalans had barely had a sniff until James Maloney used his class to slice through the St Helens defence.
Alex Walmsley capped off an impressive display by storming through the Catalans defence from 20 metres out, making the end result 34-6.
Coach Kristian Woolf had come under some criticism before the break in play, as the Saints had steered away from their entertaining free-flowing style of play. However, the Saints looked to have got back on track with a performance similar to one under Justin Holbrook.
This was demonstrated in their first try as a clever tip back inside from Zeb Taia – in a single movement – led to a Lachlan Coote try.
St Helens: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Tommy Makinson 3. Kevin Naiqama 4. Mark Percival 5. Regan Grace 6. Jonny Lomax 7. Theo Fages 8. Alex Walmsley 9. James Roby 10. James Graham
11. Zeb Taia 12. James Bentley 13. Morgan Knowles. Interchange: 14. Louie McCarthy- Scarsbrook 15. Kyle Amor 16. Joe Batchelor 17. Aaron Smith.
Catalans Dragons: 1. Arthur Mourgue 2. Tom Davies 3. Samisoni Langi 4. Israel Folau 5. Fouad Yaha 6. James Maloney 7. Joshua Drinkwater 8. Remi Casty 9. Michael Mcllorum 10. Julien Bosquet 11. Matt Whitley 12. Joel Tomkins 13. Benjamin Garcia. Interchange: 14. Sam Moa 15. Alrix Da Costa 16. Jason Baitieri 17. Sam Kasiano.