Kevin Naiqama bags hat-trick as sublime Saints put on a show

St Helens’ consistent and near-faultless 80-minute performance means James Graham and Zeb Taia will experience one more game before their retirement.

Saints made one change from their defeat to their Grand Final opponents as Alex Walmsley replaced Joseph Paulo.

Mickael Simon and Alrix Da Costa replaced Joel Tomkins and Michael McIlorum for Catalans.

James Maloney booted over a penalty goal for a high tackle, but was sent to the bin six minutes later for a high tackle of his own, this time on Regan Grace.

Saints utilised their advantage through James Roby when he showed fantastic awareness to spot a numbers mismatch before selflessly providing Lachlan Coote with a stroll-in.

After a Coote penalty goal, Kevin Naqiama received the ball from Coote and passed to an in-space Tommy Makinson, who accelerated and timed his one-two pass back to allow Naiqama to finish the move.

Two minutes into the second period, Coote collected a Jonny Lomax high bomb and dabbed the ball forward for Jack Welsby, who booted the ball back in-field for Naiqama to collect and bag his second.

The tries continued to be produced; Zeb Taia received the ball from Theo Fages and performed a sublime bat-back to set-up Coote, while Jack Welsby obtained the ball from a Coote offload and passed to an in-support Lomax.

Immediately after Ben Garcia was sin-binned, Roby burst through the line to set-up James Bentley with a magnificent offload.

Naiqama and Grace both intercepted the ball and raced the length of the field to cap off a stellar performance.

Saints: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Welsby, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Graham, Taia, Bentley, Knowles; Interchanges: Peyroux, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Amor

Catalans: S. Tomkins, Mead, Langi, Folau, Davies, Maloney, Drinkwater, Bousquet, Da Costa, Moa, Whitley, Garcia, Casty; Interchanges: Simon, Seguier, Baitieri, Kasiano