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Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 17:21 UK

St Helens 42-8 Catalans Dragons

St Helens (18) 42
Tries: Meli 2, Wheeler 2, Wellens 2, Clough, Pryce Goals: Long 4, Wheeler
Catalans Dragons (8) 8
Tries: Gossard Goals: Bosc 2

Paul Wellens scores a try for St Helens

Highlights - St Helens 42-8 Catalans

Holders St Helens eased into the quarter-finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a comfortable victory over the Catalans Dragons.

Saints, who are chasing their fourth win in a row in the competition, ran in eight tries in a one-sided win over the team they beat in the 2007 final.

Francis Meli, Gary Wheeler and Paul Wellens all crossed twice in Saints' 17th consecutive Cup win.

Paul Clough and Leon Pryce also went over for Saints after the break.

St Helens took the lead on seven minutes when they were awarded a scrum close to the line after Dimitri Pelo was bundled into touch from a Sean Long kick.

Directly from the scrum the ball was spread out wide to Meli to go in but Long missed the extras.

St Helens can still improve - Potter

Three minutes later, they were over again when a break by Chris Flannery set up Wellens to pass out to Wheeler who skipped his way through the Catalans defence to score.

Long was again off-target with the resulting kick and they were made to pay as the Dragons settled into the game.

A Bosc penalty put them on the scoreboard before his 40-20 kick gave the French side good field position.

From the scrum the ball went through three pairs of hands to Cyril Gossard who exploited a gap in the St Helens defence to go over under the post with Bosc adding the extras to level up the game.


The Dragons had their chances to go in front but Saints started to pile on the pressure again to strike twice in the last 10 minutes of the first half to open up an 18-8 lead and kill the game off.

James Roby set up Meli to power over once more to extend their lead and just on half-time, the Dragons conceded another score when Wheeler took advantage of some slack defending for his second try.

Eight minutes into the second half, the home side extended their lead when James Graham was stopped just short of the line and when the ball came lose, Wellens pounced.

Dragons needed to 'play smart' - Walters

The Dragons looked a tired side and Saints were easily able to cope with whatever their opponents threw at them.

Wellens got his second try five minutes later with another neat move and forward Clough was rewarded for some good work when he crashed over under the post with Long converting both.

Saints' leading try scorer Pryce then produced a neat sidestep and dummy prior to recording his 12th try of the season with 12 minutes left as the home side wrapped up a comfortable win.

St Helens coach Mick Potter:

"I thought it was a good performance. Attacking wise we did some really good stuff and defensively we were better, although we're not as good as we can be yet.

"I thought everyone played really well. There were a couple of highlights but for me it was about getting in the next round."

Catalans Dragons coach Kevin Walters:

"I thought the try right on half-time was the start of the nail going into the coffin. We didn't start the second half too well and Saints did. It was always going to be tough for us.

"There was plenty of effort but we didn't play very smart, particularly in the second half and we need to be better with our discipline. The points are flowing.

"It's not a positive but we can concentrate on the one competition now."

St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Wheeler, Meli, Pryce, Long, Graham, Cunningham, Hargreaves, Gilmour, Flannery, Puletua.
Replacements: Roby, Clough, Fa'asavalu, Ashurst.

Catalans Dragons: Greenshields, Duport, Bell, Baile, Pelo, Mogg, Bosc, Casty, Bentley, Guisset, Elima, Gossard, Mounis.
Replacements: Ferriol, McGuire, Carlaw, Fakir.

Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield)

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see also
Saints sent to Gateshead in Cup
10 May 09 |  Rugby League
St Helens keen to retain trophy
07 May 09 |  St Helens
Catalans Dragons 40-38 Bradford
05 Apr 09 |  Rugby League
Leeds 18-22 St Helens
05 Apr 09 |  Rugby League

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