|20th Feb 2010|| Super League||AWAY ||7825 ||(HT:8:18)|
|TRIES || 0 |
|GOALS|| 0 |
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 25. - ** non-playing sub|
MATCH REPORT : I was concerned prior to the match of the opposition’s strength in the Mogg inside pass, the Greenshields link and the attacking prowess of their two centres. It was no great surprise that all their points originated with these forces. In no time at all stomachs were feeling slightly bilious as Sa out-jumped Meli and Wheeler to touch down. Then a super weaving run by Greenshields included Saints two mis-tackles was finished on their left flank by Walker. Saints trailed by eight points and some relief came as a result of two missed conversions. As tide and territory changed Saints started to find their attacking flair; a lovely cross-field chip by Wello found Lomax who collected and touched down unopposed. Further concerns arose however when a mis-timed shoulder charge left James Graham staggering like a straggler from the Songster’s wine-tasting event; no more Mr Graham in the Perpignan twilight. Eastmond, kicking into a strong, cool breeze failed with the conversion. The pressure continued and a probing series of side-steps resulted in the head of Lomax impacting the elbow and upper arm of Elima. Steve Ganson did not hesitate with the red card. The home crowd’s booing ensued for the rest of the contest. Lomax then rubbed his smelling salts into the wounds of the Dragons with a marvellous in and out to finish a neat passing movement. Kyle notched an improbable conversion from the touchline and Saints were flowing in one way attacking traffic. Leon was instrumental in most of the Saints attacking moves through a conscious decision to distribute the ball wider and in a slightly deeper attacking line. This resulted in Gidley seeing much more of the ball and his power, passing and probing deserved most supporters’ nominations as the stand out player on the day. Before half time Pryce had kicked to the left wing where Francis collected a high ball and scored the try. It seems to me that Meli has continued his focused approach on the field from last season and looks dangerous whenever he is served with the pill. The final try of the first half resulted from another left to right lateral attack with Gids stepping and powering his way across the tryline. With the score 18 points to 8 at half time the Bitters warmed up with a walk to the packed Catalans shop to view their wares.
With a following wind, depleted opposition and renewed confidence in attack the second half lived up to our expectations. Early on in the stanza a Roby probe was continued close to the line by Maurie who powered and grinned his way over the line. The try of the match again came as a result of a wide Pryce inside dummy and pass to Gidley who stepped his way to the 20 metre line and found Kyle with a reverse pass. Esatmond snaked his way through the retreating Catalans defence to score near the posts. Meli completed his brace as neat passing through the hands of Wilkin and Wheeler resulted in a try close to the left hand touchline. It was left to Gidley to round off Saints’ eighth try of the night with lovely steps and a powerful finish across the whitewash. All the second half tries were converted by Kyle. The quantum of solace for the home team came at the death as an admirable passing movement ended with Walker netting his second try. Unfortunately for the Dragons their kicking boots were well and truly ensconced in kitbag of Thomas Bosch. Final score 42 points to 12 for the team in blue with a red vee.
There were many creditable performances on the day with Gidley leading the way. Meli always looked dangerous and was unlucky not to score a hat trick when a rampant Fass failed to deliver the money ball close to the line. Leon passed beautifully with great vision and he looked the pivot that we need to get us back to our top attacking game. The pack wrapped up the Catalans six and defended really well. Robes looked really sharp and Wello positioned himself superbly, as ever.
Allors, a rare comfortable victory was achieved in the South of France. On reflection on the way to the car I was left hoping that things would turn round quickly for the Dragons, especially in time for the visits of Wigan, Wire and Leeds. The atmosphere at the Gilbert Brutus stadium is significantly better than many grounds; their supporters a strange mixture of passion and gentility. Their franchise is well established and if we don’t win the Challenge Cup this year then I hope the cup heads well south.
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