Sam Tomkins scored 10 points as Catalans Dragons bounced back from their 42-0 defeat to Wigan Warriors last week to see off previously unbeaten St Helens 18-10 in Perpignan.
St Helens saw their perfect record in 2019 come to an end as Tomkins had a hand in almost all of the Dragons’ points, scoring a try, creating another and kicking three goals.
Saints opened the scoring in the third minute, Dominique Peyroux chasing and touching down Danny Richardson’s neat kick over the Catalans defence and Lachlan Coote adding the conversion on his 29th birthday.
The Dragons hit back in the eighth minute as a subtle change saw Tomkins operating in the halves rather than at full-back and he put in a neat grubber, with Fouad Yaha winning the race to touch down. Tomkins added the conversion from close to the touchline to level the game at 6-6.
Tommy Makinson took advantage of a slip by Yaha to score in the right corner following good work by James Roby, Richardson and Coote.
Catalans’ second try came when Tony Gigot’s kick to the left corner was knocked back by Yaha and collected on the run by Tomkins, who touched down in the corner but then missed the conversion from the touchline.
Tomkins hit the upright with a penalty attempt in the last minute of the first half as both sides headed in level at 10-10.
He did add a penalty three minutes into the second half after Coote collected a ball from an offside position following Regan Grace’s knock-on.
Gigot sealed the win six minutes from time, touching down after Lucas Albert put in a neat grubber to the St Helens in-goal area. Tomkins added the goal to take the score to 18-10.
🎥 REACTION | Holbrook proud of players despite defeat.— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) April 6, 2019
🗣 “I’m proud of our side. We tried all the way and defended really well. We just couldn’t get over the line.”
👀 the full interview here: https://t.co/DRq6zAbcbc#saintsandproud 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/oMpw0zPMtU
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said: "It was just a tough game. There wasn’t much in it and with the heavy rain, there was just a boggy pitch out there so we were never really going to be able to do much with the ball.
"We just weren’t urgent enough, they scored all their tries off kicks and I think they just had a bit more want and determination than we had tonight."
Catalans head coach Steve McNamara said: "It was a very good reaction. A great reaction to what I said last week was a disgraceful performance.
"It’s been a tough week, possibly one of the toughest on the back of last week and to respond that way, in those conditions, was great to see."
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