SAINTS boss Kristian Woolf was delighted after seeing his side produce the perfect semi-final performance to overcome the robust approach of Catalans Dragons and set up a Grand Final date with Wigan.

With the spine of the team smartly controlling the game, with a vastly improved kicking game in that, Saints played the game in the right parts of the pitch.

With the ball they executed well, snaffling some marvellously executed plays – but that was backed up by a formidable defence which seemed intent on keeping the try line intact, even when the scoreline was 48-2.

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Woolf said: “I was really happy with the performance. I thought we played outstanding tonight and our 9, 6, 7 and 1 did a great job in the way they controlled the game.

“The kicking was outstanding and they played some footy.

“We played to our strengths tonight and backed that up with some outstanding defence. I am really happy with that.

“Catalans are a very dangerous side with some world class players and that is what makes the performance so good.”

Saints had to show their mettle at times, rising above the incident that saw James Maloney sin-binned for his high shot on Regan Grace.

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They coped admirably with the disruption caused by head-knocks sustained by James Graham and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – and retained a steely determination to reach the Grand Final.

“We had a couple of knocks there and that sort of adds to the performance in the way that we lost a couple of players, lost Louie for a period and lost Jammer for the game,” Woolf said.

“They are difficult things to overcome because they change your rotation as well.

“I was happy with the way we handled that but I also thought the referee (Liam Moore) did a terrific job there tonight – there have been a lot of high shots and other things go on in the last few weeks of footy, but I thought the referee handled it well tonight and made a stance there and protected the players.

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“When he did that, it meant that things don’t get out of hand whereby players take things into their own hands.”

There was a huge improvement on the dull kicking game deployed against Wigan in the previous encounter, with more effective attacking high-balls interlaced with some long Lachlan coote punts downfield that constantly made the big Dragons side come from their own 20.

Some of Theo Fages’ bombs, too, caused Catalans full back Sam Tomkins a bit of consternation.

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“Our 9,6, 7 and 1 played really well and our kicking game was part of that,” Woolf said.

“The long kicking game was really good, even if a couple went a little too far and we’d have liked them to stay infield to be an even better kick.

“Some of the high kicks we put in were effective due to the height on them and the way blokes like Kevin Naiqama really chased.

“That meant that our fifth tackle plays were really dangerous.”

Even at 48-2, there was a real motivation from the Saints to keep the Dragons out, defending the line as if it were 0-0.

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Woolf explained: “It was a semi-final and keeping our try line intact was exactly what you want your teams to do.

“As much as I was proud of our attack tonight and played to our strengths, with our eyes up and took our opportunities.

“We backed that up with some really good defence.

“Everything was not perfect we made a few errors just before half time and we got a bit ill disciplined at the back end of the game as well – but we backed that up with good defence.”