Super League: St Helens 50-14 Catalans Dragons
|Betfred Super League|
|St Helens (16) 50|
|Tries: Costello 3, Swift, Taia, Smith, Fages, Peyroux, Welsby Goals: Richardson 7|
|Catalans (10) 14|
|Tries: Wiliame 2, Tierney Goal: Tomkins|
Super League leaders St Helens atoned for this season's only defeat as they comfortably saw off Challenge Cup holders Catalans Dragons.
Saints went down 18-10 in Perpignan on 6 April, but this time their youngsters ran in nine tries to win easily.
Against the side who stunned Saints 35-16 in the Challenge Cup semi nine months ago, this was a different story.
Centre Matty Costello claimed a second-half hat-trick, while Danny Richardson kicked seven goals.
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Adam Swift, Zeb Taia, Aaron Smith all crossed before the break, while there were second-half scores from Theo Fages, Dominique Peyroux and Jack Welsby.
Catalans actually opened the scoring through Brayden Wiliame, who scored again before the break, while Wigan old boy Sam Tomkins kicked their only goal with Lewis Tierney grabbing a third try.
Without the likes of Lachlan Coote, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson and James Roby, a young Saints side have given coach Justin Holbrook a selection headache for next Sunday's game at Hull KR.
As well as losing Jason Baitieri with a hamstring injury in the warm-up, Catalans then had winger David Mead carried off on a stretcher after a near 10-minute, first half stoppage following an aerial collision with Regan Grace.
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook:
"We don't just have 17 players, we have a squad. We made some changes and gave some boys opportunities. We were confident everyone would play well and they did.
"All the young guys were great. Jack Welsby was fantastic at full-back, Matty Costello got his hat-trick and Aaron Smith came in and was one of our best.
"I said after Easter Monday I would work with the performance and medical teams to pick our best 17 to win the game and that's what we ran with. It worked out well. Our Academy has done a great job in bringing some elite young guys through.
"The Easter period is hard on all sides - and probably more so Catalans, with the travelling. For us it was about giving some young guys opportunities and it worked well."
Catalans Dragons boss Steve McNamara:
"We came with all good intention. But losing Jason Baitieri started us off on a bad note. Then we lost David Mead and Kenny Edwards and it put us under pressure.
"David seems fine. I'm not 100 per cent sure what happened. We took him off with a neck injury because we didn't use our concussion card. I'll have to work out the situation with the medical staff.
"A third game at Easter is always a tough one. We were ready to compete and got off to a good start.
"But ultimately, down a couple of interchanges, against a young, fresh and very enthusiastic Saints side was too much. It was a tough afternoon."
St Helens: Welsby; Grace, Swift, Costello, Naiqama; Richardson, Fages; Walmsley, Smith, Lees, Z. Taia, Peyroux, Paulo.
Interchanges: Amor, Ashworth, Bentley, Batchelor.
Catalans Dragons: Gigot; Mead, Langi, Wiliame, Tierney; Tomkins, Smith; Bousquet, Da Costa, Moa, Goudemand, Whitley, Casty.
Interchanges: Edwards, Simon, Baitieri, Kasiano.
Referee: Robert Hicks.