SAINTS boss Kristian Woolf praised referee Liam Moore for keeping the lid on a stormy game littered with Catalans high shots.

Moore dispatched James Maloney and Ben Garcia to the sin-bin for those tackles - something that eventually bit the visitors on the scoreboard.

There were a couple of flashpoints and flare-ups - and he did speak to both captains after one of the Dragons high tackles.

But Woolf was content overall with the officiating.

He said: "I thought the referee did a terrific job.

"He made a stance by protecting the players.

"He made sure things didn't get out of control and prevented players from taking matters into their own hands."

Catalans went into the game without two of their key players, hooker Michael McIlorum and second-rower Joel Tomkins, because of suspension and their over-physical approach backfired spectacularly as they were twice reduced to 12 men.

Stand-off James Maloney and second-row forward Benjamin Garcia were both sin-binned for high tackles as the Dragons conceded six tries in the second half.

Coach Steve McNamara admitted the yellow cards added to the size of his side's task but refused to use the absence of McIlorum and Tomkins as an excuse for the defeat.

"They're good players but I thought we were really in it in the first half," he said. "We weren't too worried about the scoreboard at half-time, we thought we could get back into it but we got the second half horribly wrong.

"The two tries off kicks in the first 10 minutes took the scoreboard away and then we pulled ourselves apart.

"That's the killer for me. We fought so hard to get to this point and, after such a great effort all season by the players and the staff, to come into a major semi-final and get beat by that is harsh."