Catalans Dragons   28
St. Helens  32
DATE
COMPETITION
VENUEATTENDANCE(HT)
16th May 2009
Super League
AWAY
9065
(HT:22:10)

3 - Matt Gidley

AGE 31
TRIES 0
GOALS 0
WINNING HONOURS
2007 CCCF 2008 CCCF

4 - Gary Wheeler

AGE 19
TRIES 1
GOALS 0

5 - Francis Meli

AGE 30
TRIES 1
GOALS 0
WINNING HONOURS
2006 PCCF 2006 SLGF 2007 CCCF
2008 CCCF

6 - Leon Pryce

AGE 27
TRIES 1
GOALS 0
WINNING HONOURS
2006 PCCF 2006 SLGF 2007 CCCF
2008 CCCF

10 - Bryn Hargreaves

AGE 23
TRIES 0
GOALS 0
WINNING HONOURS
2008 CCCF

12 - Chris Flannery

AGE 28
TRIES 0
GOALS 0
WINNING HONOURS
2008 CCCF

13 - Tony Puletua

AGE 29
TRIES 0
GOALS 0

15 - Paul Clough

AGE 21
TRIES 0
GOALS 0
WINNING HONOURS
2007 CCCF 2008 CCCF

17 - Matty Ashurst

AGE 19
TRIES 0
GOALS 0

Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 26. - ** non-playing sub


MATCH REPORT


MATCH REPORT : A STUNNING last gasp score from Gary Wheeler gave Saints a superb 32-28 win over Catalan Dragons at the Stade Gilbert Brutus. A late Adam Mogg try looked to have given the home side the spoils until a moment of magic from the young centre gave Saints an unlikely win. Tries from Ade Gardner, Francis Meli and Leon Pryce had cancelled out a 22-10 half time deficit. But Mogg’s score didn’t dampen the spirits and Saints roared back. Saints were hit by a Thomas Bosc and Steven Bell double in the first half and despite scores from Gardner and Paul Wellens went in 12 points down. Gardner grabbed his second within seconds of the restart and ten minutes later Francis Meli just got the ball down in the corner. It then got even better as Leon Pryce’s jinking run put his side ahead. But Adam Mogg scored late on and looked to have handed Saints their third straight loss, until Wheeler did the business.

Catalans is never an easy place to go for any English side and it becomes even more difficult when the Catalonian anthem is sung five minutes before kick off to whip the crowd into a frenzy. Anyone who hasn’t experienced Perpignan in the sun, with the crowd in full voice, is truly missing out. It is a superb place to be. So it was Mick Potter, returning to his previous employers and to a raptuous welcome that sought to gain Saints first win in four seasons at a very warm and humid Stade Gilbert Brutus. He named the same team that beat Catalans in the Challenge Cup the previous week whilst Greg Bird started at loose forward for the reshuffled Dragons. Casey McGuire and Jerome Guisset also were named in the opening 13 for the home side.

Saints kicked off and put the Dragons on the back foot but on their next set, Chris Flannery was harshly adjudged to have knocked on by Phil Bentham. And from there, the home side drove to within inches of the line, Adam Mogg kicked to the corner and Stephen Bell caught a Jean-Phillipe Baile pass when he outjumped Francis Meli. Thomas Bosc added the extras. It was hardly the best start for the men in green but to be fair, they were outdone by some excellent play from Baile. Close to the quarter of an hour mark, Leon Pryce tested the Dragons line with two kicks but they went dead then Chris Flannery smashed Jamel Fakir with a superb tackle. The big man being taken off the field with a leg injury. Moments later Keiron Cunningham broke through, fed Pryce, then Tony Pueltua but Matt Gidley could not find enough room to get his pass away. On 16 minutes, they did make the breakthrough. After some superb tackling, Saints forced an error in Catalans 10 metre area. From the scrum it went right, Gidley did the damage and his flick pass saw Gardner going over for his ninth try of the year. Long was wide with the conversion. On 22 minutes, Saints were penalised with a high tackle and from the restart, Bosc found space down the middle and went under the sticks. He then converted his own try to give the home side an healthy advantage. However Saints hit back when Wellens sold a dummy and flew in on the left. Maurie Fa’asavalu set up the try with a rampaging run, the ball went through hands, Wellens took a nice pass, sold an outrageous dummy and scored the 147th of his Saints career. Long with the extras. Thomas Bosc got his second on 33 minutes but failed to convert leaving the Dragons six points to the good. Moments later, on the back of two penalties, Bell stretched over for his second. Bosc converting.

Half Time: Saints 10 Catalans 22

Saints got right back into the game within the first minute when a crunching tackle from Long on Clint Greenshields dislodged the ball and Gardner tidied up for his second. Leon Pryce had cleared his lines with a superb kick, Long followed it up and used his strength to force the error. Moments later, Gary Wheeler made a break down the left and put Francis Meli clear, the video referee giving the winger the try after some deliberation over his grounding. Long converting from right on the touchline. On 55 minutes, poor Catalans’ indisipline was punished by a jinking run from Pryce who took Long’s looping pass to put his side ahead. Long goaling once more. Buoyed on by a partisan home crowd, who were baying for a penalty on every drive, Catalans were beginning to put in some big hits. But Saints were matching them down the middle and punching holes in their defence with Long and Pryce’s kicking. Meli then looked to have squeezed the ball down in an impossible situation to edge Saints even further ahead, but was denied by the video ref. With just eight minutes to go, Mogg took a pass to even the game up, the reliant kicker Bosc kicked them ahead. Yet, Gary Wheeler saved the best until last when, with around two minutes to go, he took a pass and dived underneath the cover to give Saints the win.









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