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The Challenge Cup semi-final at the University of Bolton Stadium got underway with the cup favourites St Helens against an ever improving underdog, the Catalans Dragons.

Both sides looked strong on paper as the two sides took a week off at the end of the regular Super League season, both having qualified for the Super Eights, albeit at opposite ends of the top flight table.

But this was the cup, a one off game, and anything could happen with a large neutral support in the form of Leeds and Warrington fans cheering on the Dragons.

After a lively opening, Catalans slightly ahead on possession and position, the Dragons opened the scoring with a Josh Drinkwater penalty from right in front of the sticks for a 2-0 lead, after Saints interference at the play-the-ball.

The game was being played at breakneck speed, in perfect conditions, with two strong defences on show.

Lewis Tierney got the games first four pointer on twenty when he scored acrobatically in the right corner from ten metres out as he was the last man at the end of a long passing move. Drinkwater kicked brilliantly from the touchline for 8-0.

James Roby lost the ball over the line on twenty-five under a great defensive tackle by the Dragons.

Benjamin Garcia added to the Saints worries when he barged his way over off a Drinkwater pass on the last tackle, to ground on the line on twenty-nine. Drinkwater failed to add the conversion, the sides separated by two converted tries.

A Gigot drop goal on the next Dragons attack, after Saints put their kick-off out on the full, edged the Dragons into a thirteen point lead with seven minutes to the interval.

A clumsy high tackle from Morgan Knowles on Kenny Edwards saw the Saints second rower yellow carded and sitting on the bench for the next ten minutes. Drinkwater opted to kick the penalty for 15-0.

On thirty-six the Dragons were in again, this time it was Tony Gigot who ghosted through a tired Saints defence to score under the sticks. Drinkwater added the conversion for 21-0. Two minutes later and it was 27-0 as Benjamin Garcia found his way through a broken Saints defence to score from thirty metres. Drinkwater added the extras to complete a sensational first half for the underdogs. Saints would need to make a vast second half improvement or it would be the Dragons making their second Cup Final appearance.

A penalty for interference at the play the ball gifted Drinkwater his sixth kick of the game on forty-four for 29-0, the Dragons adding fourteen to their tally while Knowles was off the field.

Saints finally opened their account on fifty when Mark Percival was the first on a two man overlap to walk in from ten metres after Tierney came off his wing to try and cover as the Dragons defence scrambled. Danny Richardsoon failed to convert from wide.

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook got the Saints into double figures when he took a Rochardson pass to step out of one tackle and ground over the line. Richardson added the conversion for 10-29, was the unthinkable possible?

On sixty-one the Dragons put the result beyon doubt. Sam Moa went straight down the middle, pushing aside the Saints tackler Theo Fages, to score from ten metres out. Drinkwater added the conversion for a 35-10 lead.

Percival slid over on sixty-seven to ground for Saints third try and Richardson converted brilliantly from the left touchline. But it would be the last score of the game as the Dragons shut up shop to deny Saints further points.

This was a sensational win for the Dragons, against all the odds, which see’s them return to Wembley for their second ever Challenge Cup final at the end of August. They totally outplayed the Champions elect, St Helens, who were almost certain to have been there before the game kicked off. The Dragons forward bossed the game and out the backs in the position to take their tries and rack up an unsurmountable total in a devastating first half. Saints will now go back to guaranteeing the monir premiership and securing their place at Old Trafford, the Dragons will look forward to their day in the Wembley sun.

Saints: Barba, Swift, Makinson, Percival (2T), Grace, Lomax, Richardson (2G), Amor, Roby, Thompson, Knowles (SB on 35), Taia, Wilkin.  Subs: Fages, Douglas, McCarthy-Scarsbrook (T), Lees.

Dragons: Gigot (T, DG), Tierney (T), Mead, Wiliame, Yaha, Langi, Drinkwater (7G), Simon, McIlorum, Moa (T), Jullien, Garcia (2T), Casty.  Subs: Bousquet, Anderson, Edwards, Baitieri.

Referee: Robert Hicks.

Half-Time: 0-27.

Full-Time: 16-35.

Attendance: .




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 5th Aug 2018 2:28 PM | Views : 24906 | Replies : 10 | BACK TO STORIES
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RLFANS Match Centre
Sun 26th Sep
L1 RND: 23 Workington18-16Keighley
L1 RND: 23 Crusaders34-48Doncaster
WSL RND: 17 St.HelensW58-0CastlefordW
WSL RND: 17 LeedsW22-18YorkW
WSL RND: 17 FeatherstoneW30-12BradfordW
WSL RND: 17 Hudds W30-26Wire W
Sat 25th Sep
NRL RND: 28 Melbourne6-10Penrith
CH RND: 23 Batley22-10Bradford
CH RND: 23 Halifax24-20Whitehaven
Fri 24th Sep
SL RND: 26 Warrington0-19Hull KR
NRL RND: 28 Souths36-16Manly
Thu 23rd Sep
SL RND: 26 Wigan0-8Leeds
Sun 19th Sep
SL RND: 25 Huddersfield42-24Leigh
CH RND: 22 Bradford22-36Whitehaven
CH RND: 22 Dewsbury21-14Oldham
CH RND: 22 Featherstone78-10Sheffield
CH RND: 22 Halifax10-12Batley
CH RND: 22 Swinton16-26Widnes
CH RND: 22 York30-22LondonB
L1 RND: 22 Doncaster31-10Hunslet
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2021 ROUND : 25
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 8 212 60 152 16
Melbourne 9 292 108 184 14
Parramatta 8 229 106 123 14
Souths 8 235 124 111 14
Sydney 8 236 92 144 12
St.George 8 161 157 4 8
Gold Coast 9 218 219 -1 8
NZ Warriors 8 157 178 -21 8
 
Manly 9 177 234 -57 8
Newcastle 9 161 220 -59 8
Canberra 9 173 209 -36 6
NQL Cowboys 8 146 237 -91 6
Cronulla 9 152 226 -74 4
Wests 8 130 226 -96 4
Brisbane 9 140 240 -100 4
Canterbury 9 92 280 -188 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVI ROUND : 25
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Catalans 23 688 398 290 38 172.86 82.61
St.Helens 21 548 229 319 32 239.30 76.19
Warrington 21 588 354 234 31 166.10 73.81
Wigan 25 387 385 2 30 100.52 60
Leeds 24 556 440 116 26 126.36 54.17
Hull KR 20 497 458 39 20 108.52 50
 
Castleford 23 439 552 -113 22 79.53 47.83
Hull FC 21 409 476 -67 17 85.92 40.48
Huddersfield 24 460 516 -56 18 89.15 37.50
Wakefield 24 482 548 -66 18 87.96 37.50
Salford 22 402 586 -184 14 68.60 31.82
Leigh 22 356 870 -514 4 40.92 9.09
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2021 ROUND : 20
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Toulouse 13 616 112 504 26 550 100
Featherstone 19 817 254 563 34 321.65 94.74
Halifax 19 512 323 189 26 158.51 68.42
Bradford 18 483 455 28 24 106.15 66.67
LondonB 18 504 499 5 21 101 63.89
Batley 19 525 370 155 24 141.89 63.16
 
Whitehaven 20 447 496 -49 21 90.12 52.50
York 19 470 455 15 16 103.30 42.11
Widnes 19 458 509 -51 15 89.98 39.47
Newcastle 18 381 521 -140 13 73.13 36.11
Sheffield 18 382 553 -171 13 69.08 36.11
Dewsbury 19 308 570 -262 13 54.04 34.21
Oldham 19 270 691 -421 5 39.07 13.16
Swinton 20 354 719 -365 3 49.24 7.50
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2021 ROUND : 22
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Barrow 17 596 275 321 27 216.73 79.41
Workington 15 471 310 161 21 151.94 70
Doncaster 18 503 400 103 24 125.75 66.67
Keighley 19 640 399 241 25 160.40 65.79
Crusaders 18 553 438 115 22 126.26 61.11
Hunslet 19 572 466 106 20 122.75 52.63
 
Rochdale 17 505 488 17 17 103.48 50
Coventry 17 407 460 -53 12 88.48 35.29
LondonS 18 292 577 -285 7 50.61 19.44
West Wales 18 208 896 -688 1 23.21 2.78
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Womens Super League 2021 ROUND : 9
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
St.HelensW 7 370 36 334 12 1,027.78 85.71
WiganW 6 222 64 158 10 346.88 83.33
YorkW 6 186 102 84 8 182.35 66.67
CastlefordW 6 166 96 70 8 172.92 66.67
BradfordW 8 158 264 -106 6 59.85 37.50
Hudds W 7 104 288 -184 4 36.11 28.57
 
Wire W 8 150 334 -184 4 44.91 25
FeatherstoneW 8 122 338 -216 4 36.09 25
LeedsW 7 364 38 326 14 957.89 100
WakefieldW 7 50 332 -282 0 15.06 0
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