1. Saturday's win in Perpignan was as gutsy as Saints have produced all year, and no player epitomised that as much as Jonny Lomax.

He slotted back to the full back berth as if he had never been away.

Lomax was exemplary on both sides of the ball, whether it was safely defusing a wickedly tricky kick putting his body wholly on the line to stop big man Sam Moa with a tackle and then denying the abrasive Kenny Edwards a try.

With the ball his intervention was telling; scoring one, having a key role in another and being unfortunate to see his handiwork on a couple more chalked off by the officials.

Lomax has had a big year since returning from the World Cup, largely at stand off. Every week we have seen not just his skill and vision on display, but also his courage when taking the ball into the teeth of the defence knowing he'll get a whack.

2. The first time we saw debutant Aaron Smith on Saturday he was being decked late by heavyweight Sam Moa. And the last time we noticed him was his searing and incisive break to set up the platform for Morgan Knowles to score.

It was an outstanding senior debut from the senior debutant, who has already had a bit of Super League experience on loan to Hull KR.

It was pleasing to see another Brooker dropping off the production line, particular in a position as pivotal as this.

Saints have had a good look at a number of potential James Roby understudies over the years but none have really come through.

The 21-year-old showed huge promise in one of the toughest, physical arenas - so let's hope he can continue to develop into a role where he can eventually work in tandem with the Saints skipper.

3. Physically the game in Perpigan was as tough as you will get. It is not just about the size, but also the abrasiveness of the Catalans middle unit.

So after having questions asked of them in recent weeks, it was pleasing to see the Saints pack front up.

The young packmen in particular really earned their spurs.

It was tough at times, and what Saints could have done with a man the size of Moa in their own ranks when they were trying to get off their line, but there was an incredible spirit and tenacity about the likes of Matty Lees, Morgan Knowles, Jack Ashworth and Luke Thompson.

Those players had hearts of lions, the size will come eventually, but in the mean time they look prepared to throw their frames into the line.

4. Catalans coach Steve McNamara was disappointed with some decisions after the match. But equally there were calls on the Saints side that were harsh.

The most ludicrous one was the excellent try from Regan Grace being chalked off after Greg Bird's theatrical fall to the ground after a faint touch from Zeb Taia.

Had the ref given a penalty for the high shot on Lomax late in the game, Saints would have taken the two and the game would have ended in a draw, so it is swings and roundabouts really.

5. A lot has been said about Saints' style being rumbled.

Well I do hope that the referees and their bosses have a real talk before the final and semi to see what is an acceptable amount of time in slowing the ruck.

Teams should always be rewarded for winning the collision, however, there does need to be stronger action on teams that slow the ruck down.

We are heading to the games that define our season - and by that I mean rugby league as a whole. Let the title go to the team that can play football, not one that can win a wrestlemania/king of the ring contest.

6. So, Saints all but mathematically have the League Leaders wrapped up. They can make 100 per cent certain with a draw or win on Friday and will get the shield.

It is a reward that is undervalued. I wonder if more prestige would be attached to it if they dug out the old Championship trophy and presented that instead.

Under this system, there is too little reward for finishing top - and that has diminished further in the Super 8s system which goes straight to knock out.

We will never go back to first past the post, but we threw the baby out with the bathwater when the game pushed through the Grand Final concept in 1998. There was scope for two league trophies - like the old league and Premiership - without one completely trashing the other into rugby league's equivalent of a Bendy Bully.