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One hundred and twenty-three days since the Super League 2021 Grand Final saw St Helens narrowly beat the Catalans Dragons to lift the trophy, last season´s top two sides signalled the start of the 2022 season with the season opener at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Many pundits have predicted that it will be these two sides, last years Minor Premiers and Grand Final winners, sharing the honours again in Super League XXVII and this fixture would be the pick of any weekend in the top flight of the competition, a win would give the victors a great boost at the start of the season.

It took just ten seconds and one tackle for the first altercation of the season as the two sides got involved in bad-tempered pushing and shoving. Gil Dudson was sent to the sinbin for his part in lashing out in the ruck, a most inauspicious start for the Dragons front rower.

On three minutes the Dragons should have been in the lead when Jack Welsby failed to gather a kick through, but the chasing Matt Whitley knocked-on when the try was begging to be scored. It had been an action-packed opening, both sides were up for the scrap.

On twelve, and back to thirteen men, the Dragons hit the front with Fouad Yaha taking a second play Drinkwater chip over the top to run in unopposed from twenty metres for the first try of the new season. Sam Tomkins added the conversion from the touchline.

Ten minutes after the Dragons try, Saints chimed in with their first of the season with a miss-out pass from Sione Mata´utia into the hands of Tommy Makinson to go over in the left-hand corner. Lewis Dodd pushed his conversion attempt across the posts, Saints still two behind.

A superb try on twenty-six, James Roby taking a Konrad Hurrell offloaded flick pass to dive in by the right corner flag, edged Saints into a two-point lead. Dodd was again unable to add the extra two points but a moment of brilliance from Hurrell had given the home side the lead.

On thirty-two Saints were in again after a pinpoint Dodd grubber kick was chased and collected by the half-back himself for a great solo try. He picked up an injury in scoring the try Tommy Makinson stepped up to take the kick and skewed it wide of the uprights. It was three tries to one in Saints favour, but the lead was only six points.

Saints were now scoring freely and on thirty-seven minutes fast hands down the left-hand side saw the ball into the hands of Makinson to walk over for his second of the night. Dodd was back on goal kicking duties and this time his kick was short of the uprights.

In the dying seconds of the game the Dragons kicked a penalty from the boot of Sam Tomkins to reduce the arrears to eight points.

After withstanding early second half pressure from the Dragons it was Saints who registered the first points of the second half thanks to a Dodd penalty after Tomkins was called offside on fifty-four.

With nine minutes remaining a massive illegal hit from Dylan Napa on Nathan Percival saw the Dragons debutant red carded for an attack to the head, a ten-point comeback in the remaining eight minutes for the Dragons was now looking increasingly unlikely.

Curtis Sironen and Gil Dudson went head-to-head in the next tackle as referee Moore struggled to keep control of two fired up sides.

On seventy-three Joey Lussick found space down the middle of the field to evade the tacklers with a scoot from acting half back and dive over the line by the left upright. Dodd added the conversion, and the first points of the season were going to Saints.

Konrad Hurrell intercepted a wayward pass on seventy-seven for one of the easiest tries he will ever score as he ran in down the right wing to score in the corner. Dodd couldn´t add the conversion, Saints securing a 28-8 win.

From the early exchanges it looked as though it would be a great arm-wrestle of a game, but Saints bided their time and fully exploited some poor discipline from the visitors to eventually cruise to a comfortable win to get their campaign off to the best of all possible starts. McNamara will have some naval gazing to do as he looks like losing Bousquet to a broken arm and Napa to the vagaries of the disciplinary committee.

St Helens: Welsby, Hopoate, Hurrell (T), Percival, Makinson (2T), Lomax, Dodd (T, 2G), Walmsley, Roby (T), Lees, Mata´utia, Batchelor, Knowles. Subs: Lussick (T), McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Paasi, Sironen

Catalans Dragons: Tomkins (2G), Yaha (T), Langi, Whare, Davies, Drinkwater, Pearce, Napa (SO on 72), McIlorum, Dudson (SB on 1), Whitley, McMeeken, Garcia. Subs: Bousquet, Dezaria, May, Kasiano.

Half-Time: 16-8.

Full-Time: 28-8.

Score Progression: (SB), 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 8-6, 12-6, 16-6, 16-8 : HT : 18-8, (SO), 22-8, 24-8, 28-8 : FT .

Referee: Liam Moore.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 10th Feb 2022 9:53 PM | Views : 7853 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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RLFANS Match Centre

TABLES:
Matches on TV
Sun 7th Aug
SL
LIVE

13:00
St.Helens20-12Castleford
Thu 11th Aug
SL RND: 23
20:00
Warrington-Toulouse
Fri 12th Aug
SL RND: 23
20:00
Hull KR-Leeds
Sat 13th Aug
SL RND: 23
13:00
Salford-Huddersfield
Mon 15th Aug
CH RND: 23
19:45
York-Bradford
Thu 18th Aug
SL RND: 24
20:00
Huddersfield-Castleford
Fri 19th Aug
SLRND: 24
20:00
Hull FC-Wakefield
Sat 15th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
14:30
England-SAM
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
Australia-Fiji
Sun 16th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
17:00
JAM-IRE
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
NZ-Lebanon
WC2022 RND: 1
14:30
SCO-IRE
Mon 17th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
France-Greece
Tue 18th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
Tonga-PNG
Wed 19th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
WAL-Cook I
Fri 21st Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
19:30
Australia-SCO
Sat 22nd Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
14:30
Fiji-ITA
WC2022 RND: 2
17:00
England-France
WC2022 RND: 2
19:30
NZ-JAM
Sun 23rd Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
14:30
Lebanon-IRE
Sun 7th Aug
SL RND: 22 St.Helens20-12Castleford
SL RND: 22 Leeds18-14Salford
SLRND: 22 Wakefield4-16Catalans
CH RND: 22 Bradford6-8Workington
CH RND: 22 Dewsbury6-6York
CH RND: 22 Leigh18-8Barrow
CH RND: 22 Newcastle0-12LondonB
CH RND: 22 Sheffield20-12Whitehaven
CH RND: 22 Widnes12-6Featherstone
L1 RND: 18 Cornwall6-30Crusaders
L1 RND: 18 Doncaster6-14Rochdale
L1 RND: 18 Swinton22-14Keighley
NRL RND: 21 Canterbury14-28NQL Cowboys
NRL RND: 21 Wests10-14Newcastle
Sat 6th Aug
L1 RND: 18 LondonS68-18West Wales
NRL RND: 21 Souths48-10NZ Warriors
NRL RND: 21 Canberra6-26Penrith
NRL RND: 21 Cronulla24-18St.George
Fri 5th Aug
SL RND: 22 Huddersfield22-16Hull FC
SL RND: 22 Wigan32-6Warrington
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 22
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Leigh 22 948 176 772 42
Featherstone 22 820 376 444 35
Batley 21 620 361 259 32
Halifax 21 635 340 295 30
Barrow 22 557 449 108 29
York 22 523 430 93 29
 
Widnes 22 488 539 -51 22
Sheffield 22 555 522 33 20
Bradford 22 415 534 -119 18
Newcastle 22 497 617 -120 15
LondonB 22 402 580 -178 13
Whitehaven 22 342 750 -408 11
Dewsbury 22 281 760 -479 6
Workington 22 222 871 -649 4
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 18
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Keighley 15 651 116 535 28
Crusaders 17 628 302 326 28
Swinton 16 603 245 358 26
Rochdale 16 582 383 199 24
Doncaster 16 522 320 202 22
Hunslet 16 445 364 81 17
 
LondonS 16 356 579 -223 10
Oldham 15 402 419 -17 9
Midlands 15 380 535 -155 8
Cornwall 17 242 704 -462 2
West Wales 17 144 988 -844 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 22
 PLDFADIFFPTS
St.Helens 22 512 276 236 36
Wigan 22 648 395 253 32
Huddersfield 22 493 386 107 29
Catalans 22 453 357 96 28
Castleford 22 479 494 -15 22
Leeds 22 459 430 29 21
 
Salford 22 523 496 27 20
Hull FC 22 424 513 -89 20
Hull KR 22 386 492 -106 20
Warrington 22 432 551 -119 14
Wakefield 22 363 574 -211 12
Toulouse 22 355 563 -208 10
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 21
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 20 556 303 253 34
NQL Cowboys 20 519 297 222 30
Melbourne 20 614 358 256 28
Cronulla 20 443 330 113 28
Parramatta 20 491 437 54 26
Souths 20 520 412 108 24
Brisbane 20 456 405 51 24
Sydney 20 489 378 111 22
 
Canberra 20 368 401 -33 20
Manly 20 434 442 -8 18
St.George 20 353 487 -134 18
Canterbury 20 338 455 -117 12
Newcastle 20 298 532 -234 12
NZ Warriors 20 324 561 -237 10
Wests 20 302 491 -189 8
Gold Coast 20 322 538 -216 6
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