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Scubby

I was wrong. Take a bow Steve McNamara!

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Sometimes you've just got to hold your hand up and say you were wrong. Steve McNamara has received a huge amount of stick - I've been front and centre with some of that since he joined the Dragons. However, what looked a lost cause has seen Catalans become one of the form teams over the last dozen games. Sitting in 6th with a game to go is a brilliant recovery. Not only a culture change  in Perpignan but the team seems to be throwing it about too. 

I was wrong. Well done Steve, and Bernard G for holding his nerve when everyone said pull the trigger. The Dragons are back!

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It takes a bigger man to retract an opinion than it does to offer one. Something that is increasingly rare in the internet age.

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10 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

It takes a bigger man to retract an opinion than it does to offer one. Something that is increasingly rare in the internet age.

Fair play. I didnt rate him either and now have to say hes done well. The successful recruitment from OZ is likely to be something he has played a part in. 

Mead, Drinkwater and Edwards are alot better than the class of 2016 in terms of impact. 

Its a darn shame the play offs are not top 5 or 6 as Cats right now should fear no one... 

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Well said, Scubby. A month or so ago, the praise was coming out for McNamara and I held back because they still had a fair bit of work to do to complete the recovery.

Now they have done that work and should rightly take a second's pause to recognise a job well done from a shocking position only a few months back.

I do hope it is only a second's pause though, because what we have seen has shown they are capable of pushing for honours in the last part of the season, and a Wembley appearance would be incredible for them. As well as Saints are playing, I am sure the fans in the clubhouse who roared with delight when they were drawn to play the Dragons are a notch less confident now.

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You could argue that they are now simply in the sort of position that they should have been in all along. He shouldn't have allowed things to get so bad early in the season. Next season will be interesting though if they can avoid to poor start.

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There are echoes of McNamara in Gareth Southgate. Both went into coaching very soon after retiring as players, and probably too soon. Both are rather serious-minded, quiet-spoken, diligent and always keen to learn more.

I have yet to see Steve in a waistcoat, however. Maybe he used it to wipe up what Stanley Gene did in his Volvo. :wink:

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Just now, Saint 1 said:

I think both this and Woolford show people are often too quick to judge coaches! 

You probably didn't need to type the word "coaches" in that post. No wonder the NHS is overstretched in the 21st Century, with all the spasmodically-jerking knees we see in modern life. Got to be hell on the tendons.

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6 minutes ago, MZH said:

You could argue that they are now simply in the sort of position that they should have been in all along. He shouldn't have allowed things to get so bad early in the season. Next season will be interesting though if they can avoid to poor start.

I agree. It makes you wonder whether they needed a 'rock bottom' moment before they could start a revival. 

McNamara's recruitments have looked like gambles, but have pretty much all been a success. Drinkwater seems to be a Catalans half-back in the Dureau mould: low expectations, no fanfare, but good organisation, good kicking and a good RL brain.

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Hands up here as well, I thought McNamara was a terrible decision by Les Cats, I think the way he has turned the club around has to be admired.

 

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I didn't like him. Seemed like he was all talk and nothing more. Always well spoken, always reassuring but results were poor.

Not many believed in him. Now he's got a killer squad. McIlorum and Drinkwater bring the team to an all new high in terms of organisation.

Fouad Yaha turned into a different beast. Now he wins most aerial battles, doesn't rush in defense, a completely different player!

I beg for Steve's forgiveness, I've been too quick to judge him and he's proven me wrong.
 

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One thing I noticed a few weeks after he arrived was the players smiling and laughing at training sessions ! Every photo in the paper showed smiles, it's the first time I've seen a team happy whilst at training at the Catalans! 

He's had a difficult start with injuries, attitudes, problems getting rid of staff,language barrier and hiring an assistant coach. 

Everyone I've spoken to have said how good his staff where especially the fitness coaches and the fact they prepare for the weekend and players have different workloads through the week to be ready for the weekends game, for a few years the players where just flogged all the time! If they where tired on a game day they got flogged even more! 

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2 hours ago, barnyia said:

One thing I noticed a few weeks after he arrived was the players smiling and laughing at training sessions ! Every photo in the paper showed smiles, it's the first time I've seen a team happy whilst at training at the Catalans! 

He's had a difficult start with injuries, attitudes, problems getting rid of staff,language barrier and hiring an assistant coach. 

Everyone I've spoken to have said how good his staff where especially the fitness coaches and the fact they prepare for the weekend and players have different workloads through the week to be ready for the weekends game, for a few years the players where just flogged all the time! If they where tired on a game day they got flogged even more! 

Yep the players look so much fitter. 

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He needs to keep up the momentum now. A decent Top 8 performance to push for 5th is definitely within range. With a few new and quality players joining next season, it’s imperative to finish on a high this year.

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A Wembley appearance would just be the reward they deserve. Let Saints concentrate on the league 👍🏼

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8 minutes ago, Spidey said:

A Wembley appearance would just be the reward they deserve. Let Saints concentrate on the league 👍🏼

I was waiting for someone to suggest that! 😂

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A big part of the turnaround was the retirement of Luke Walsh, it is always going to be difficult to get results if your star player's body is not up to the job. Credit to McNamara for identifying that Drinkwater would make an excellent replacement and would give the team what it was lacking

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2 minutes ago, flyingking said:

A big part of the turnaround was the retirement of Luke Walsh, it is always going to be difficult to get results if your star player's body is not up to the job. Credit to McNamara for identifying that Drinkwater would make an excellent replacement and would give the team what it was lacking

Swapping Gigot & Mead around was also a good decision. Still think Gigot is their best player. Glad they got that stupid ban sorted 

Edited by Spidey
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Steve take a bow fella. You deserve this day in the sun! That was one awesome display.

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Fair play, he's done really well - and that's not something that easy for me to type as a Bulls fan ;) 

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He wasn't bad as a half-time pundit today either.

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2 hours ago, Scubby said:

Steve take a bow fella. You deserve this day in the sun! That was one awesome display.

To be fair as as a Saints season ticket holder and someone who has been to every away game,i have often shaken my head when so called 'Experts, have said we will walk the Challenge Cup and Super League,Barba is a good player,to my mind Lomax is far better and so much more committed,Holbrook  has turned the club around from that joke Cunningham (the worst coach we have ever had )but the team like the coach is to nice,we don't have a grub,we won't win  anything with ex players like Long on the coaching staff( jobs for the boys has to stop), for us to really become a team that will be truly able to win  the top honours 

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2 minutes ago, kevinj said:

To be fair as as a Saints season ticket holder and someone who has been to every away game,i have often shaken my head when so called 'Experts, have said we will walk the Challenge Cup and Super League,Barba is a good player,to my mind Lomax is far better and so much more committed,Holbrook  has turned the club around from that joke Cunningham (the worst coach we have ever had )but the team like the coach is to nice,we don't have a grub,we won't win  anything with ex players like Long on the coaching staff( jobs for the boys has to stop), for us to really become a team that will be truly able to win  the top honours 

I think the 30-game season could be Saints undoing in 2018 as it was for Cas in 2017. You cannot stay at the top of your game for that length of time. Seven more rounds of repeat fixtures before the play-offs (against the same clubs again) is ridiculous. Saints literally have nothing to play for until the play-offs come around.

Edited by Scubby

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27 minutes ago, Scubby said:

I think the 30-game season could be Saints undoing in 2018 as it was for Cas in 2017. You cannot stay at the top of your game for that length of time. Seven more rounds of repeat fixtures before the play-offs (against the same clubs again) is ridiculous. Saints literally have nothing to play for until the play-offs come around.

Totally agree matey,the way all the competitions are run lose two games the season is over,in reality the other 28 games don't really matter as long as you win more than you lose. 

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