Super League: Catalan Dragons 28-6 Castleford Tigers

Morgan Escare
Escare needed a hat-trick to finish joint top try scorer in Super League this season
Catalan Dragons (10) 28
Tries: Escare 2, Taia, Henderson, Whitehead Goals: Bosc 4
Castleford Tigers (0) 6
Tries: Dixon Goals: Sneyd

Catalan Dragons beat Castleford Tigers to allow St Helens to win Super League's League Leaders' Shield.

Morgan Escare grabbed two first-half tries as Dragons led 10-0 at the break.

Tigers, who needed victory in Perpignan to finish top of the table following Saints' loss to Huddersfield on Friday night, were dealt another blow when Zeb Taia crossed after the break.

Kirk Dixon went over for Cas's only try before Elliott Whitehead and Ian Henderson completed a comfortable win.

Despite losing their final two regular season matches, St Helens did enough to secure their first piece of silverware in six years, finishing a point clear of Wigan and Huddersfield, while Castleford could only secure fourth spot and a qualifying play-off meeting with Nathan Brown's Saints next week.

Catalans advance to an elimination final meeting with Challenge Cup winners Leeds.

Super League Play-Offs: Week one schedule
Thursday, 18 September - KO 20:00 BSTWigan Warriors v HuddersfieldFriday, 19 September - KO 20:00 BSTSt Helens v Castleford Tigers
Saturday, 20 September - KO 14:45 BSTWarrington v Widnes VikingsSaturday, 20 September - KO 17:15 BSTLeeds Rhinos v Catalans Dragons

The Dragons travel to Headingley in fine form, having won their previous three games to secure seventh place in the table.

Escare, who finished second in the Super League try scoring table with 27 this season, finished off the hosts' opening try against Tigers after the ball had twice passed through his hands in a daring team move.

Thomas Bosc added the extras before Escare linked up with Daryl Millard seconds before the break to twist over into the corner.

Super League top try scorers
28: Joel Monaghan (Warrington)
27: Morgan Escare (Catalan Dragons)
25: Tom Makinson (St Helens)
20: Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield), Michael Oldfield (Catalan Dragons)
19: Josh Charnley (Wigan)
17: Joe Burgess (Wigan), Justin Carney (Castleford), Michael Shenton (Castleford), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield), Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons)

Ben Pomeroy then came up with an interception after the interval and combined with Sam Williams to send Taia over.

Bosc made it 16-0 with his second conversion, but gifted Tigers an immediate reply by knocking on 30 metres out from his line.

Oliver Holmes shifted a Luke Dorn pass quickly into the grasp of Dixon, who went over in the corner. And while Marc Sneyd teed up the extras from the the touchline, that is all the table-topping hopefuls could muster.

Henderson was next to damage Castleford's hopes of overtaking Saints, squeezing over for a try before playing a part in the lead-up to Whitehead's effort.

Catalan Dragons: Escare; Oldfield, Pomeroy, Duport, Millard; Bosc, Williams; Elima, Henderson, Anderson, Taia, Whitehead, Baitieri.

Replacements: Lima, Maria, Pelissier, Garcia.

Castleford Tigers: Dorn; Dixon, Webster, Shenton, Clare; Sneyd, Finn; Lynch, Clark, Jewitt, Holmes, Hauraki, Massey.

Replacements: Huby, Millington, Wheeldon, Ellis.

Attendance: 6,195.

Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL).

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