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Saturday 3rd August 2013, 18:00 - Round:23
|Morgan Escare,||T||Francis Meli, Tom Makinson 2, Paul Wellens 2,|
Gareth O'Brien, Jordan Turner 2,
Attendance: 8,582 Official: B Thaler Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Tommy Makinson and Paul Wellens bagged a brace of tries as St Helens continued their fine recent form with a comfortable 26-6 victory over Catalan Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
Francis Meli and Makinson put Saints in the ascendancy and, while centre Morgan Escare helped Catalan back into the match midway through the first half, his converted try was to prove a mere consolation.
Makinson crossed again just after half-time, while Wellens - on his 400th Super League appearance for St Helens - made the game safe with two tries as the Lancashire club followed up their impressive wins over Castleford Tigers and local rivals Wigan Warriors with another two points tonight.
Saints' third triumph in a row moves them above Catalan and up to fifth in the standings.
A visit to Perpignan is never an enticing prospect for any team, but this Saints side have looked rejuvenated in recent weeks after responding positively to a public rebuke from chairman Eamonn McManus last month.
Former Saints half-back Leon Pryce was denied by some stout defending from the visitors, who took a 15th-minute lead when Meli crossed after some patient build-up play, while Makinson touched down in the corner following a sharp pass from Jonny Lomax.
That put the visitors 10-0 ahead, although they were dealt a blow when half-back Gareth O'Brien, who had added the extras to Meli's try, was stretchered off after being taken out by Zeb Taia in an off-the-ball collision, with the New Zealander put on report.
The deficit was narrowed to four points after Escare's try was converted by Thomas Bosc, which acted as a catalyst for Catalan to lay siege on the Saints' half.
Brown's men were resolute in their defending, though, and kept their line in tact before reasserting themselves after the interval, with Makinson superbly grounding following Jon Wilkin's up and under.
Catalan's frustrations boiled over as they were reduced to 12 men when Antoni Maria was sin binned for a rash challenge on Adam Swift, with St Helens making their man advantage count when Wellens touched down from Anthony Howarth's pass to mark his landmark game for his boyhood club in style.
Jordan Turner, taking over the kicking duties from O'Brien, put Saints 20-6 ahead, yet the bad blood between the sides flared up again when Catalan prop Michael Simon and opposite number Alex Walmsley's disagreement led to a melee, with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Maria, once again, being yellow carded.
And Catalan's misery was compounded as Wellens ran in for his second try, converted once more by Turner, to seal victory for Saints.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals