The Catalan Dragons' finally bowed out of the Super League 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 30-12 winners on the night. Having already beaten both Challenge Cup winners Leeds Rhinos and fellow West Yorkshire side Huddersfield Giants on the road in successive weeks, the French side went into the game full of confidence but it proved to be a game too far against such adept opponents who had topped the league in the normal season.

Saints benefited from the extra time off that resulted from their victory in the first round of play off eliminators, bypassing additional rounds to progress directly through to the semis to ensure that 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 looked to keep the ball alive, but the extra class of the St Helens' side came to the surface as they eased clear in the second period and outscored Catalans overall by five tries to two.

Morgan Escare benefitted from what may have been a forward pass from Thomas Bosc to go over for the Dragons early on in the match that had put them in front, but they then had to wait until Michael Oldfield scored a late consolation for their only other try. 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 Grand Final will have hugely disappointed them, but for the competition as a whole they have provided a breath of fresh air in a game that has been dominated by the North of England sides in recent years.

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

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