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With many tasty matches vying for the game of the Magic Weekend, you could be forgiven for anticipating some of the fixtures with more relish than the top of the table tussle between the Catalans Dragons and St Helens, but with the minor premiership still in the balance the second fixture of Saturday afternoon could go a long way to answering the big question.

Saints made just one change from the side that beat the Warrington Wolves last weekend with Kyle Amor coming onto the bench in place of Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook as the defending Super League champions looked to move within a whisker of the Dragons point percentage.

With both sides having won their last three outings, the bookies made Saints the slight favourites for the win and to stop the Dragons from clinching the League Leaders Trophy for the first time in their history in what could well be a Grand Final dress rehearsal.

It was a magical start for the Dragons with Sam Tomkins tiptoeing his way through the Saints defence to score from fifteen metres with just three minutes on the clock. James Maloney added the simple conversion to silence the large contingent of Saints fans in the stadium.

A high tackle on Sam Tomkins by Mark Percival saw the first sin-binning of the game with the Saints centre receiving a yellow card, and taking a ten minute rest.

On twelve minutes the Saints struck back when a flying Tommy Makinson grounded one-handed in the corner down the right-hand side of the field by the usually reliable Lachlan Coote was unable to add the conversion from wide.

Seven minutes later the Red Vee were in front with Mark Percival the supplier of a delightful inside pass to Coote to hit a big gap and go over unopposed. Coote added the conversion as the Saints fans regained their voices.

After a period of sustained Dragons pressure Saints worked the ball downfield and on thirty-five Sione Mata’utia took a Jack Welsby pass and stepped off both feet and through a high tackle to get the ball on the ground. Coote added the conversion for a 16-6 lead, the Saints taking their chances where the Dragons couldn’t.

It went from bad to worse for the Dragons on thirty-seven when Sam Kasiano was sin-binned for contact with the head on James Bentley. Within a minute a Maloney shoulder charge conceded a penalty under the Dragons sticks and Coote made no mistake in kicking the goal for a half time lead of 18-6.

Mata’utia picked up his second of the game after a disjointed start to the second half taking a short ball and turning the Dragons defence inside out with a ten-metre run to the line. Coote added the conversion for 24-6, Saints pulling away towards victory.

Makinson had a try ruled out of fifty-five for a double-movement and within a minute a barnstorming Jullien Bousquet brushed aside the Saints defence to stretch and score under the crossbar. Maloney added the goal to edge the Dragons back into the game, but it was still almost a lost cause.

Morgan Knowles somehow managed to wriggle out from under five tacklers to get the ball on the ground under the cross bar as the Dragons players were left scratching their heads. Coote added the conversion to seal the win as Saints hit thirty points with ten minutes remaining.

Sam Tomkins was held up over the line on seventy-two, and a minute later Dean Whare lost the ball within a metre of the line, it appeared that it just wasn’t the Frenchman’s afternoon, but miracles can, and do, happen.

The Dragons finally got their third try of the game when Whare went through a gap to score down the left hand side and when Maloney added the touchline conversion the margin was down to twelve points but with three minutes remaining the game had seemingly been over as a contest since Saints stormed the first half.

Gil Dudson added a fourth on seventy-eight off an Arthur Mourgue offload, with the forward going through a gap from ten metres for the try. Maloney added the conversion for 30-24 with ninety seconds remaining.

Sensationally the Dragons scored their third try in four minutes when Sam Kasiano rose above a crowd of Saints defenders, to take a Josh Drinkwater towering kick, and ground as the final hooter sounded. Maloney added the conversion to level the scores at 30-30, sending the game into Golden Point.

There was nothing pretty about the opening exchanges of extra time with errors from both sides, and with four minutes on the clock a bad tackle from Agnatius Paasi on Samisoni Langi saw the Catalan player stretchered from the field and the Saints player sent from the field with a yellow card from referee Liam Moore, Saints playing with twelve for the rest of Golden Point.

The sides were still locked up after the first five minutes and the sides changed ends to enter the second period.

A wayward pass from Maloney saw the Dragons hand over possession inside their own twenty and on the fourth tackle Coote went for the one-pointer but the ball went wide of the sticks. The Dragons worked the ball downfield and Maloney smacked over a forty-metre drop goal to take the win and to seal the Minor Premiership.

It was a breath-taking fightback from a ‘never say die’ Catalans Dragons who came back from the dead to level the scores in a scintillating last four minutes and force a Saints side who thought they’d won the game at half time, into Golden Point. The Dragons win the Minor Premiership and take the League Leaders Trophy with two games remaining in the regular season.

Surely nothing else could compete with such excitement in what remains of Magic Weekend.

St Helens: Coote (T, 5G), Makinson (T), Naiqama, Percival (SB on 6), Grace, Welsby, Dodd, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Mata’utia (2T), Bentley, Knowles (T). Subs: Amor, Paasi (SB on 84), Batchelor, Wingfield.

Catalans Dragons: Tomkins S (T), Yaha, Langi, Whare (T), Davies, Drinkwater, Maloney (5G, DG), Bousquet (T), McIlorum, Dezaria, Whitley, McMeeken, Goudemand. Subs:  Mourgue, Dudson (T), Tomkins J, Kasiano (T, SB on 37).

Half-Time: 18-6.

Full-Time: 30-30. Golden Point: 30-31.

Referee: Liam Moore.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, (SB), 4-6, 8-6, 10-6, 14-6, 16-6, (SB), 18-6 : HT : 22-6, 24-6, 24-10, 24-12, 28-12, 30-12, 30-16, 30-18, 30-22, 30-24, 30-28, 30-30 : FT : (SB), 30-31 : Golden Point.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 4th Sep 2021 7:48 PM | Views : 2645 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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RLFANS Match Centre
Sat 25th Sep
NRL RND: 28 Melbourne6-10Penrith
CH RND: 23 Batley22-10Bradford
CH RND: 23 Halifax24-20Whitehaven
Fri 24th Sep
SL RND: 26 Warrington0-19Hull KR
NRL RND: 28 Souths36-16Manly
Thu 23rd Sep
SL RND: 26 Wigan0-8Leeds
Sun 19th Sep
SL RND: 25 Huddersfield42-24Leigh
CH RND: 22 Bradford22-36Whitehaven
CH RND: 22 Dewsbury21-14Oldham
CH RND: 22 Featherstone78-10Sheffield
CH RND: 22 Halifax10-12Batley
CH RND: 22 Swinton16-26Widnes
CH RND: 22 York30-22LondonB
L1 RND: 22 Doncaster31-10Hunslet
WSL RND: 16 St.HelensW52-0WiganW
WSL RND: 16 YorkW28-14CastlefordW
Sat 18th Sep
NRL RND: 27 Penrith8-6Parramatta
CH RND: 22 Newcastle12-82Toulouse
L1 RND: 22 Crusaders14-28Keighley
Fri 17th Sep
SL RND: 25 Leeds36-12Hull KR
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2021 ROUND : 25
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Melbourne 24 815 316 499 42
Penrith 24 640 280 360 42
Souths 24 775 453 322 40
Manly 24 744 492 252 32
Sydney 24 636 475 161 32
Parramatta 24 566 457 109 30
Newcastle 24 428 571 -143 24
Gold Coast 24 568 553 15 20
 
Cronulla 24 512 556 -44 20
Canberra 24 481 578 -97 20
St.George 24 474 616 -142 16
NZ Warriors 24 453 624 -171 16
Wests 24 500 714 -214 16
Brisbane 24 446 695 -249 14
NQL Cowboys 24 460 748 -288 14
Canterbury 24 340 710 -370 6
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVI ROUND : 25
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Catalans 23 688 398 290 38 172.86 82.61
St.Helens 21 548 229 319 32 239.30 76.19
Warrington 21 588 354 234 31 166.10 73.81
Wigan 25 387 385 2 30 100.52 60
Leeds 24 556 440 116 26 126.36 54.17
Hull KR 20 497 458 39 20 108.52 50
 
Castleford 23 439 552 -113 22 79.53 47.83
Hull FC 21 409 476 -67 17 85.92 40.48
Huddersfield 24 460 516 -56 18 89.15 37.50
Wakefield 24 482 548 -66 18 87.96 37.50
Salford 22 402 586 -184 14 68.60 31.82
Leigh 22 356 870 -514 4 40.92 9.09
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2021 ROUND : 20
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Toulouse 13 616 112 504 26 550 100
Featherstone 19 817 254 563 34 321.65 94.74
Halifax 19 512 323 189 26 158.51 68.42
Bradford 18 483 455 28 24 106.15 66.67
LondonB 18 504 499 5 21 101 63.89
Batley 19 525 370 155 24 141.89 63.16
 
Whitehaven 20 447 496 -49 21 90.12 52.50
York 19 470 455 15 16 103.30 42.11
Widnes 19 458 509 -51 15 89.98 39.47
Newcastle 18 381 521 -140 13 73.13 36.11
Sheffield 18 382 553 -171 13 69.08 36.11
Dewsbury 19 308 570 -262 13 54.04 34.21
Oldham 19 270 691 -421 5 39.07 13.16
Swinton 20 354 719 -365 3 49.24 7.50
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2021 ROUND : 22
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Barrow 17 596 275 321 27 216.73 79.41
Workington 15 471 310 161 21 151.94 70
Doncaster 18 503 400 103 24 125.75 66.67
Keighley 19 640 399 241 25 160.40 65.79
Crusaders 18 553 438 115 22 126.26 61.11
Hunslet 19 572 466 106 20 122.75 52.63
 
Rochdale 17 505 488 17 17 103.48 50
Coventry 17 407 460 -53 12 88.48 35.29
LondonS 18 292 577 -285 7 50.61 19.44
West Wales 18 208 896 -688 1 23.21 2.78
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Womens Super League 2021 ROUND : 9
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
St.HelensW 7 370 36 334 12 1,027.78 85.71
WiganW 6 222 64 158 10 346.88 83.33
YorkW 6 186 102 84 8 182.35 66.67
CastlefordW 6 166 96 70 8 172.92 66.67
BradfordW 8 158 264 -106 6 59.85 37.50
Hudds W 7 104 288 -184 4 36.11 28.57
 
Wire W 8 150 334 -184 4 44.91 25
FeatherstoneW 8 122 338 -216 4 36.09 25
LeedsW 7 364 38 326 14 957.89 100
WakefieldW 7 50 332 -282 0 15.06 0
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