St Helens made it back to back wins to start the season after a gritty 21-12 win at Catalans Dragons.
It was the perfect start for the Saints as Ben Barba, man of the match against Castleford Tigers last week, put Jonny Lomax through a gap to score. Danny Richardson hit his conversion to make it a six point advantage.
Just as the Dragons seemed to be coming back into the game, the Saints pulled further clear as Barba once again was instrumental as he freed Regan Grace to score an acrobatic finish in the corner. Richardson nailed the conversion to send the red vee into half time with a 12 point lead.
Catalans needed a big start to the second half and they got it when David Mead went over for his first try in English Rugby League. Lucas Albert hit the conversion to half the deficit for the Dragons.
Momentum then seemed to swing towards the Dragons as Morgan Knowles was sent off for a dangerous tackle. Although it was soon 12 a piece as Benjamin Jullien was sent to the sin bin for a crusher tackle.
Despite being a man down, St Helens did get the next try as Adam Swift, keen to prove his worth after losing his place to Grace, showed great footwork and determination to score his first try for close to a year. Richardson hit the conversion again to re establish the 12 point lead for the Saints.
Alrix da Costa then took advantage of a small gap in the Saints defence on the line to give the French outfit hope. Albert hit the conversion to keep the Dragons in reach.
But a drop goal and a penalty from Richardson confirmed the victory for a Saints side that continues to gain momentum under Justin Holbrook. They now have a week off before they head to Huddersfield to take on the Giants.
As for Catalans, they still cant seem to shake off the ghost of last season, and could be in for another long year. They travel to Hull KR next week.