SAINTS coach Justin Holbrook hailed the character of his side after they twice came from behind to emerge 26-22 winners in Perpignan.

They trailed by eight points going onto the closing stages, but tries from Jonny Lomax and the winner from Morgan Knowles gave them the win that all but mathematically assures them of finishing top.

They are now six points clear, with three games to play, but also with a much superior points difference.

Holbrook said: "Today's game definitely gives us confidence, it was important that we played well today it was always going to be a hard game.

"We were behind early and I thought we fought back well to dominate the second half of the first half and we were unlucky not to lead by a lot more.

And then the second half panned out the same as the first half so we had a lot of character."

"To do this trip, to get up early in the morning and fly, then perform like that, it's fantastic."

Skipper James Roby and full back Ben Barba missed the game, and Holbrook explained that they had slight injury concerns that kept them out.

"They just had niggling injuries that's all and we've got to get them right by the end of the year so it gave them an opportunity to give them a rest today," he said.

"We knew it was going to be tough tonight and it was, we're happy to get the win.

"We had a couple of players not play so we needed a couple of guys - Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson and Wilko to stand up as experienced players and I thought they did a good job."

Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara said he felt "sick as a dog" following the nature of the defeat - and blamed the referee's calls as the cause for their downfall.

"I feel as sick as a dog. I'm not sure if that translates to French," he said.

"I just can't believe the effort they players have put in and the energy that they've put in and to not win that game at the end, it's just not right, it's not correct.

"Normally I'm very diplomatic in these situations, but it's not good enough, it's simply not good enough and we paid the price.

"He (the referee, Liam Moore) quite clearly made some terrible mistakes in my opinion and I would imagine he will know that pretty soon once he has spoken to his boss and seen what's happened in the game.

"As I said, I'm a bit lost because it's not fair on the boys tonight and it's not fair on the fans who came to see the game tonight."