Super League: Catalans Dragons 12-21 St Helens

St Helens survived the dismissal of back-rower Morgan Knowles to beat Catalans Dragons in Perpignan and make it two wins from two in Super League.

Saints established a first-half lead with tries by Jonny Lomax and Regan Grace, as Catalans went in scoreless.

David Mead’s score reduced the deficit before Knowles was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Thibaud Margalet.

Adam Swift added a third Saints try and Danny Richardson took his points tally to nine before Alrix Da Costa’s reply.

Having dismantled last season’s stand-out performers Castleford Tigers last week, Saints came through another tough examination of their championship aspirations with this victory on a traditionally difficult trip – which appeared even more tricky after Knowles’ exit.

It took them less than a minute for playmakers Ben Barba and Lomax to combine for the opener, setting a tone for the rest of the game as the duo and Richardson caused no end of problems.

Catalans showed character in defeat, keeping pace with the Saints for large periods but this loss means Steve McNamara’s side remain winless from their first two fixtures.



Super League champions Leeds Rhinos have agreed a parting of the ways with former Great Britain prop Jamie Thackray.Twenty-eight-year-old Thackray joined the Rhinos in 2006 from Hull on a three-and-half-year contract but has not played for the first team this year and will leave the club with immediate effect.Thackray, who recently had a spell on loan with National League Two club Doncaster, was a member of Leeds’ championship-winning team in 2007 when he made 27 appearances.

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “Unfortunately things have not worked out for Jamie, but we wish him all the best for the future.”

jamie_thackray.jpgMeanwhile, coach Brian McClennan has recalled prop Kylie Leuluai for Friday’s trip to St Helens. But winger Lee Smith and second rower Carl Ablett have both been ruled out with muscular strains.

Leuluai was concussed in last Thursday’s win over Bradford but has passed a head test to clear him to return to action in the Grand Final re-match.

Youngster Ben Jones-Bishop has been drafted in to the squad as cover. The 19-year-old full-back was a member of the Rhinos senior academy squad who reached the Grand Final last season and was recently promoted to the first-team squad.

New Zealand Test prop Jason Cayless has been named in St Helens’ initial squad and could make his first appearance since October’s Grand Final, after recovering from major knee surgery.