Welsby Inspires Saints to Valuable Victory Over Catalans


It was a clinical performance from the Super League leaders as St Helens extended their lead at the top against Catalan Dragons thanks to a stunning performance from full-back Jack Welsby.

In a game which was sloppy at times and had few clear-cut opportunities, the Saints found a way like they regularly do under the Totally Wicked Stadium lights, edging the contest 24-12.

The win leaves Saints two points ahead of the chasing Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors who face each other on Saturday afternoon (3pm).

Saints had to endure plenty of pressure in the opening 10 minutes but stood firm as the French giants went in search of an opener.

But the opening points did arrive in the 11th minute at the Totally Wicked Stadium as Jordan Abdull carved open the Saints defence with a left-footed beauty which was calmly finished off in the corner by winger Tom Johnstone.

Pressure remained on the Saints defence with some heavy blows landing from both sides, but with 10 minutes of the half remaining, Konrad Hurrell took full advantage of some Jack Welsby brilliance to score and level the scores.

There was more drama straight from the restart as Franck Maria made quite the introduction from the interchange bench as he landed a massive blow to the head of George Delaney. The hit to the back of the Saints man’s head sparked a raging reaction from both sets of players and a yellow card for Maria – much to the dismay of the home side who wanted and expected more from referee Aaron Moore.

Whilst the first half was short of points on the board, the second period got off to a much brighter start as Sione Mata’utia went over after just three minutes following a mix-up in the Catalan defence.

With Saints holding the advantage and looking to heap the pressure on Saturday’s clash between Warrington and Wigan at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, it was time for more Welsby magic as he weaved his way through the Dragons’ defence before setting Tommy Makinson away in the corner to extend the lead.

With 15 minutes to go, the home side put themselves virtually out of sight from the visitors with Lewis Dodd this time turning provider as Matty Lees stole in behind the posts to set Saints well on their way to two valuable Super League points.

There was still time for a consolation for Steve McNamara’s side as Julian Bousquet powered his way through to leave the points difference at 12, but a consolation is all it was as Saints managed the game well in the closing stages.

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