On a night of five Superleague fixtures, fourth placed Catalans Dragons took on a St Helens side in sixth place in what looked like the game of the round as two sides who are disappointed with their current league position looked for the all-important two points that would help them to keep pace with the league leaders.
Makinson and Walmsley were back for the Champions while the Dragons looked to halt a three-game losing streak which has seem them tumble down the table and without a win since the first of April.
The bookies made the Dragons slight favourites giving Saints a two-point start on the handicap coupon, the home side looking to restore some French pride after last weekend´s crushing international defeats.
On eleven minutes, and Saints first attack of the game, Alex Walmsley took the ball on the ten-metre line at first receiver and left three tacklers in his wake as he went in under the sticks. Tommy Makinson added a simple conversion from under the sticks for a 6-0 lead.
Jonny Lomax spilled the ball on his own twenty on eighteen minutes and as the Dragons tested the defence a brilliant tackle from Makinson tackled Tom Davies into touch as he went for the corner.
On twenty-one the Saints were in again with Konrad Hurrell putting Jack Welsby through a gap to go in from twenty metres with another try under the uprights allowing Makinson to add the goal for a 12-0 lead to cheer the good travelling crowd.
The Dragons were back in the game on twenty-eight when Arthur Mourgue sprinted forty metres off a Sam Tomkins pass to score by the right upright. Adam Keighran was on target with the boot, the Saints lead down to six.
Hurrell was sin-binned on thirty-five for dissent and two plays later Matt Ikuvalu went through a gap to dive over for a try on his debut as his teammates lined up outside him forming a queue to score. Keighran was again on target at the sides were all tied up with two minutes to the interval.
With a minute of the half remaining Sio Taukeiaho was sin-binned for secondary contact to the head, both sides finishing the half with twelve men.
The Dragons hit the front on forty-two thanks to a penalty conceded by Saints for an escort, Keighran kicking Catalans into a two-point lead.
On forty-nine fast hands from the Dragons saw the ball find Tom Davies to dive in at the corner off an Ikuvalu pass to extend the Dragons lead. Keighran kicked brilliantly from the touchline to give an eight-point cushion.
Just before the hour mark and the Dragons were further ahead as Davies collected a Tomkins chip to the corner to dive over for his second try of the evening. This time Keighran was just wide of the target, but it left Saints needing to score three times, but they couldn´t muster another point as they went down by 24-12.
It was a slow start for the Dragons who trailed by twelve points early in the game but once they hit their straps they totally dominated the Champions and scored twenty-four unanswered points to grab their first win in four and inflict Saints fourth defeat of the season. When the Dragons are in this kind of mood they can score from anywhere and they tormented Saints who struggled to make any headway.
Catalans Dragons: Mourgue (T), Johnstone, Ikuvalu (T), Keighran (4G), Davies (2T), Tomkins, Pearce, Dezaria, Garcia, Bousquet, Whitley, Seguier, McMeeken. Subs: Navarrete, Chan, Taukeiaho, Ma´u. 18th Man: Romano.
St Helens: Welsby (T), Ritson, Hurrell (SB on 35), Hopoate, Makinson (2G), Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley (T), Roby, Lees, Royle, Batchelor, Bell. Subs: Lussick, Wingfield, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Delaney. 18th Man: Bennison.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12, 4-12, 6-12, (SB), 10-12, 12-12, (SB) : HT: 14-12, 18-12, 20-12, 24-12 : FT.
Lead Exchanges: Saints – Square – Catalans.
Referee: Liam Moore.