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Catalans Dragons 42 St Helens 0
SAINTS failed to extend their lead at the top of Super League as they were crushed 42-0 by the Catalans Dragons after a woeful performance in the Perpignan heat.
Nathan Brown's men were without Lance Hohaia but welcomed back Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, Willie Manu, Josh Jones and Mark Percival.
But the visitors never really got going in the South of France in what turned out to error-strewn, lacklustre display, which saw them concede eight unanswered tries and suffer the ignominy of being whitewashed.
To make matters worse the returning Lomax left the field with what seemed to be a knee injury midway through the second half.
Saints went behind in the seventh minute as Tommy Makinson spilled Thomas Bosc's chip kick under heavy pressure from Daryl Millard and Dragons winger Vincent Duport picked up to score.
From the kick-off Saints were given an opportunity to hit back as the Dragons lost possession but Paul Wellens' flick pass was deemed forward as Makinson went over.
It became an increasingly frustrating first half for the Saints as the home side dominated much of the territory and Luke Walsh's kicking game failed to find the ground.
Saints went close twice within a minute, as firstly Matty Dawson was held up over the line and then Mark Flanagan was just beaten to Luke Walsh's grubber kick by Duport.
It seemed the Dragons had made Saints pay immediately as Louis Anderson took ex-Saints Leon Pryce's offload only for the video referee to rule the ball was grounded short following a copybook last-gasp tackle from Lomax.
Desperate defence saved Saints again as Walsh and Jordan Turner scrambled to prevent Morgan Escare extending the hosts' lead.
Saints nearly got themselves on the board in bizarre fashion as Walsh's innocuous-looking midfield kick bounced up in the in goal area for Josh Jones to touch down but the video referee ruled he had shoved Dragons' full back Escare.
And just before the break the Dragons doubled their lead with another try from a kick, this time Pryce's kick being taken by Michael Oldfield who out jumped Dawson.
The second half began in similar fashion for Saints as errors and penalties handed the Dragons position.
Lomax produced another try-saving tackle to deny Duport but the winger soon had his second try after Saints allowed Pryce's high kick to bounce.
Ian Henderson scored a fourth Dragons try from dummy half to leave Saints trailing 18-0.
Saints conceded again after Elio Pelissier's flick found Ben Pomeroy who found the supporting Bosc to score.
Oldfield's second made it 30-0 after the winger finished in the corner from Bosc's long pass after Duport and Escare combined in the build-up.
The crumbling Saints defence was breached once more as Millard shoved off Manu's attempt to race in for the Catalans' seventh.
Saints were then reduced to 12 as Alex Walmsley was sin-binned following a late challenge.
And to cap off the horror show for the away side Oldfield completed his hat-trick from Escare's kick, Bosc's conversion the final act.
Saints: Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Dawson, Wheeler, Walsh, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Flanagan, Wellens
Subs: Manu, Walmsley, Percival, Thompson
Catalans: Escare, Oldfield, Pomeroy, Duport, Millard, Pryce, Bosc, Elima, Pelissier, Lima, Whitehead, Taia, Baitieri,
Subs: Henderson, Anderson, Paea, Garcia
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