Mark Percival: The England centre contributed 22 points at Langtree Park
Mark Percival’s 22-point haul ensured St Helens ran out 46-28 winners against Catalans Dragons in a frenetic Super League clash.
The England centre kicked nine goals and went over for the decisive score in the closing stages. The result was only made certain late on as Saints steamed over for three tries in six minutes.
Steve McNamara’s Dragons were excellent value for the 28 points they plundered and but for a final-quarter collapse could have taken the win themselves.
St Helens put in a below-par first-half display but still had their noses in front at 20-18 and had enough in the tank to eventually steer clear of the plucky Frenchmen.
Dragons scrum-half Luke Walsh put in an outstanding display against his old employers and had a hand in three Catalans tries, including a solo effort of his own.
It was Justin Horo who crossed first with a touchdown after he got in the end of Walsh’s kick.
However, the Red Vee hit back three minutes later with neat try from France international Theo Fages after he was sent clear by the brilliant James Roby.
Catalans were doing all the running and had clearly come for the two points and when Walsh burrowed his way over, knocking Jon Wilkin and Jonny Lomax out the way in the process, they were really beginning to believe they could leave Merseyside with them.
But Saints hit back with Roby spotting a gap from dummy half to put prop Alex Walmsley clear.
The see-saw scoring continued as Walsh’s kick was latched onto by Tony Gigot to level it.
Percival slotted a penalty to nudge Saints ahead before Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook walked over after Zeb Taia’s classy pass.
The Dragons regained the lead on 50 minutes as Krisnan Inu crafted a superb opening for Horo, who did well to ground.
The conversion was missed by Walsh but at 22-20, the Dragons were deservedly in charge.
The pendulum swung back to Saints when Percival landed another penalty – his 500th point in Super League – and Ryan Morgan set up Lomax for a well worked try.
Richie Myler dragged Catalans back into it with a length-of-the-field effort and Walsh knocked over the conversion before Percival flew over in the corner for the game-winning try.
Luke Thompson and Ryan Morgan had the final say in the dying moments.