There was collectively a huge sigh of relief that Super League could get the the show back on the road on Sunday, and a maybe a smaller one more locally that Saints ended the day with a win.

Here are some of the talking points from the day and performance.

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1. There was quite an eerie feeling, sitting in the South Stand at the now even grander Headingley stadium and looking at an empty, still roofless West Terrace that would usually be packed with Saints fans.

It sits oddly as a spectator sport - but the game without fans is a sacrifice that has to be made to stop money haemorrhaging out of the game with nothing coming back.

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You do feel sort of privileged being allowed in, especially knowing fully well that there are some supporters out there who will be really hurting about missing the live action..There will have been plenty of consecutive attendance runs broken on Sunday, but sadly that can't be helped in these abnormal times as the world battles COVID-19 and its impact.

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The absence of crowd noise gives those viewing in the ground a slightly different perspective of the on-field action. You can hear every smack - with the one that led to Zeb Taia going off for a concussion assessment being particularly loud. And you can also pick up a lot more of the calls for plays and a little bit of sledging, particularly encouraging kickers to "slice it".

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2. The performance itself was very encouraging after something of a clunky start for the champions.

The team looked thoroughly refreshed after playing more or less two or three years of back-to-back rugby - and veteran skipper James Roby (more of him later) looked like a spring chicken for that first 55 minutes.

However, we cannot underestimate the return of a fully fit Lachlan Coote, missing for a good chunk of the start, in working with the Saints' halves in helping the attack tick. If he was "the reason for being top of the league all season" it could figure that his absence would have the opposite impact.

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And the return of another long term casualty Mark Percival not only solidified the defensive edge, but again added real potency to the attack.

One swallow does not make a summer, but Sunday's win was a huge improvement on the tired and turgid offerings dished up in the last two weeks before lockdown.

3. Sunday marked the first appearance in the Saints red vee since Old Trafford 2011.

Homecoming hero James Graham may be a veteran, but he clearly still has a presence that does not simply come with what he has done, but also what he is still doing.

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His tough, no-nonsense approach - in tandem with Big Alex Walmsley - was pretty important when the Dragons, as expected, came out breathing fire in that first 10 minutes. But there were those subtleties to his game, particularly the offload, which seemed pretty infectious as Saints kept the ball alive in a fast-paced game.

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4.Former Saints skipper Paul Sculthorpe used to repeat a saying on his Twitter bio...'It's not the size of dog in the fight, but the size of fight in the dog'....And with that in mind, take a step forward James Bentley. Signed as a back row from Bradford, Bentley's versatility has also seen him utilised as a hooker and centre in his time at Saints so far.

Any question marks over his natural position should have been dispelled now after an industrious and classy display against Catalans - rewarded with a well-taken try.

And of those questioning whether he is big enough, his build does not appear to be that dissimilar to another ex-Bull John Bateman - and he seems to be doing OK.

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5. The pace of Sunday's game - under the new rules of no scrums and six again for ruck infringements - was pretty rapid.

The ball was in play constantly for the first 10 minutes - it took until Saints winning a kickable penalty before the players could take in a real gulp of air.

The new rules won't be everyone's cup of tea, but on first showing from Sunday we can clearly see the sorts of players who will make hay.

James Roby really rolled back the years from dummy half - making the sort of breaks he first became noted for when he was still Keiron Cunningham's off the bench understudy.

The basics of the game still apply - it won't just see a transfer to the quick men with nimble footwork ruling the roost. The pack must still physically be able to dominate in order to earn that right to get quick play the balls and the six agains that go with it, and in defence they must seek to do the reverse. But like we saw with Tommy Makinson's second halt try, that element of fatigue faced by big men in defence will lead to opportunities.

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6. Finally, a big hand to those across the game - and particularly at Headingley on Sunday - who have worked so hard and diligently to get the programme up and running.

There have been a huge number of financial aspects to juggle to get the show on the road at the top level. They have to be set alongside obvious player welfare concerns and the wider health picture.

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It is strange seeing the players arriving masked up - and even more so seeing Joseph Paulo and the other non-playing Saints acting as ball boys, but these are the times we are living in. It would have been easier on paper to write the year off and wait till its all over.....but how long do we wait, and what shape would the game be in then?

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With all that in mind - and with everything else that is going on around them - we have to pay a huge amount of respect to the players who have just rolled their sleeves up and got on with it, giving those of us watching something else to think about, talk about and look forward to one day experiencing in the flesh again (not as cardboard cut-outs).