St Helens’ 42-0 defeat at the hands of the Catalan Dragons today in Perpignan at the Stade Gilbert Brutus means that the three teams that went into Super League’s Round 16 fixtures at the top of the league ladder all went down to defeats.
It began on Thursday night, when second-placed Leeds Rhinos were pipped by Huddersfield Giants 22-24 at Headingley Carnegie.
It continued on Friday night, when third-placed Castleford Tigers went down 46-6 to Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium.
And today in Perpignan the Dragons were far too good for a disappointing St Helens side, with winger Michael Oldfield scoring three tries and centre Vincent Duport touching down twice. Other tries were scored by the returning Ian Henderson, Thomas Bosc, who also kicked five goals, and Daryl Millard.
St Helens suffered a blow when fullback Jonny Lomax was taken from the field in the second half, when he appeared to suffer a knee ligament injury. With coach Nathan Brown describing the injury as “disastrous”, it could mean that he will miss the gathering of Steve McNamara’s England squad over the next three days.
After the weekend’s matches there are only seven points separating the top eight teams in Super League. St Helens remain on top with 24 points, with Leeds a point behind. Wigan have now moved into third place with 22 points and a game in hand. They are level on points with Castleford, but with a better points difference.
Warrington and Huddersfield are both two points behind on 20 points, with the Dragons moving into seventh place on 17 points, with a better points difference than Widnes Vikings, who went down 6-56 at home to Hull FC on Friday night.
Hull FC and Hull KR are both three points outside the top eight with 14 points each.
A full report and pictures from all the weekend’s games will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.
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