SAINTS boss Justin Holbrook was delighted to see his side earn a "really tough" 21-12 victory in France to retain their spot at the top of the league.

Tries from Jonny Lomax, Regan Grace and Adam Swift, plus nine points from the boot of Danny Richardson ensured Saints continued their wining start to the 2018 season.

"I thought it was a really tough game and a really tough 80 minutes," said Holbrook.

"I thought Catalans really came at us hard and fought all the way and it took a special effort - defensively in particular - for us to get the win."

Saints had to do it tough after seeing Welsh international Morgan Knowles sent off in the middle of the second half.

Holbrook added: "I wasn't afraid, but you're always concerned when you go down to 12 men against an opposition that is coming hard at you so it wasn't ideal, but I'm really proud of the boys on how they lifted at the end.

"I'm really pleased to get a win here. It's great that we can look to our players like Richardson, Theo Fages, James Roby, Ben Barba and Jonny Lomax that when times get tough we can go to those players."

Catalans responded with tries from David Mead and Alrix Da Costa, both converted by Lucas Albert, but did not have enough to overly worry the visitors.

Dragons coach Steve McNamara was satisfied, despite the defeat, with how his team responded to last weekend's 40-12 drubbing at Widnes.

"There was a lot of progression out there for us," he said. "We were all disappointed last week so we knew we had to be a whole lot better this week and we were.

"We got caught early on and that could have demoralised us but I thought we were very, very good. Saints are a top team but I thought we were very good against such a champion side.

"I thought our forwards were great and they needed to respond from last week and they did that."