The Catalan Dragons' finally bowed out of the SuperLeague play-offs on Thursday evening at Langtree Park to a dominant St Helens'side as befits this season's Shield winners, as they ran out comfortable 30-12winners on the night. Having already beaten both Challenge Cup winners LeedsRhinos and fellow West Yorkshire side Huddersfield Giants on the road insuccessive weeks, the French side went into the game full of confidence but itproved to be a game too far against such adept opponents who had topped theleague in the normal season. Saints benefited from the extra time off thatresulted from their victory in the first round of play off eliminators,bypassing additional rounds to progress directly through to the semis to ensurethat the squad was fit and healthy for yesterday's match up.

The semi final had been a good contest for the first half,especially during a tight and scoreless first twenty minutes as Catalans lookedto keep the ball alive, but the extra class of the St Helens' side came to thesurface as they eased clear in the second period and outscored Catalans overallby five tries to two. Morgan Escare benefitted from what may have been aforward pass from Thomas Bosc to go over for the Dragons early on in the match thathad put them in front, but they then hadto wait until Michael Oldfield scored a late consolation for their only othertry. In between they were blitzed by tries for Jordan Turner, Adam Swift,Willie Manu, Mose Masoe and Mark Percival for the Saints.

That the Catalans yet again failed to make the GrandFinal will have hugely disappointed them, but for the competition as a wholethey have provided a breath of fresh air in a game that has been dominated bythe North of England sides in recent years.

Many in the game will welcome theheightened exposure across the Channel, as they seek to expand the game to newcountries and widen its general appeal.

However, this season'sfinal will once more be battled out between familiar foes, as St Helens wait tosee whether it will be Wigan Warriors or Warrington Wolves that they face intheir first Super League Grand Final since 2011 at Old Trafford on 11thOctober , with the second semi final being decided on Friday evening.