St Helens proved too strong for Catalan Dragons tonight at Langtree Park, winning 30-12 to go through to the Grand Final at Old Trafford in nine days time.
Saints could have taken a two-point lead early in the game, when they earned a penalty conceded by Greg Mounis on Mark Flanagan, but Mark Percival couldn’t kick the goal.
The Dragons were then unlucky to have a try by Thomas Bosc disallowed when referee Richard Silverwood dubiously decided that Mounis had knocked on.
But they went ahead after 21 minutes when they kept the ball alive wonderfully and Bosc gave the final pass to Morgan Escaré for the fullback to touch down. Bosc added the goal.
Saints equalised quickly, however, when Jordan Turner slid over, with the video referee confirming that it wasn’t a double movement. Percival added the conversion.
And Saints took the lead in the 38th minute, when superb passing saw Adam Swift dash down the left wing, beating Escaré, who looked to b carrying an injury at that point in the game, and he just managed to avoid going into touch before putting the ball down for the try. Percival added the goal for Saints to go in for the interval six points ahead.
St Helens increased their lead after 48 minutes when Tommy Makinson broke down the right wing, and passed inside to Willie Manu who touched down for a thrilling try, although there had been a suspicion of a forward pass earlier in the move. Percival’s goal put St Helens twelve points ahead.
Saints went further ahead when Percival kicked a penalty for offside near the Catalan posts.
And they sealed victory after 79 minutes when Samoan prop forward Mose Masoe took the ball 15 metres out and powered over the line with three Catalan defenders trying to stop him to no avail. Percival’s goal made the margin 20 points.
And when St Helens were fortunate to be awarded a scrum, Percival broke through the Dragons’ defence to score on the first tackle, although he couldn’t convert his own try.
The Dragons tried to mount a comeback when Ben Pomeroy handed on to Michael Oldfield and he scored a fine try, converted by Bosc to reduce the gap to 18 points.
But they were unable to add to that score, and it was St Helens who held on to win, and they will now go to Old Trafford on 11 October and will look to add the Super League Championship trophy to their League Leaders’ Shield.