St Helens lost ground on Leeds and Wigan with a 26-16 defeat to the Catalans Dragons today in Perpignan, with the Dragons keeping alive their faint hopes of qualifying for the top-four playoffs.
And the Dragons won despite having centre Ben Pomeroy dismissed for a foul on St Helens star Josh Jones in the 43rd minute of the game.
At that point they were leading 20-10, but St Helens were unable to dent their confidence, and were hampered by constantly conceding penalties to the French side.
The try count was three each, but Scott Dureau converted every try for the Dragons, and added three penalties, with Krisnan Inu also adding a penalty late in the game.
They took the lead in the eleventh minute with a try to Tony Gigot and never lost it, adding subsequent tries from Louis Anderson and Morgan Escaré in the first half.
St Helens had replied with first-half tries from Luke Walsh and Matty Dawson, with Walsh also converting his own try.
Joe Greenwood scored the only try of the second half after 57 minutes, but the constant drip of penalties disrupted St Helens and they fell to a disappointing defeat, and now lie in third place behind Leeds and Wigan.
The Dragons moved into seventh place, alongside Hull FC, but they are still six points behind fourth-placed Huddersfield Giants.
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.