Steve McNamara promises response after painful Catalans Dragons defeat

The pain of defeat will sting Catalans Dragons into action according to coach Steve McNamara.

A 22-14 loss to Huddersfield Giants in Perpignan has left a bitter taste for the Catalans’ coach, who is hoping to bounce back quickly against his hometown team Hull this week.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a defeat like this in the league, particularly at home,” McNamara told League Express.

Stade Gilbert Brutus exploded in a chorus of French boos at the end of Friday’s match as referee Chris Kendall was singled out for criticism over his decision to disallow a late try for Dragons’ centre Matthieu Laguerre, which would have levelled the scores.

Kendall ruled there had been an obstruction on defending winger Jermaine McGillvary before Laguerre crossed the line but coach McNamara disagreed.

He said, “We fought hard to get back into the contest and got a lot of momentum but the decision there at the end was a poor decision, it was a wrong decision.

“It was a try for Matthieu. Jermaine McGillvary changes his line but the biggest disappointment of the night was quite clearly our performance.

“Huddersfield probably deserved to get the win based on what they did and what we didn’t do.

“The first half was not acceptable; we conceded a 40/20 and a couple of soft tries.

“It was too far off, individually and collectively, for all of us and it’s been a long time since we’ve had this feeling. We need to move on quickly and play well next week against another strong opposition.

“Huddersfield completed their sets and kicked the ball well, which they do, that is the type of team they are, but we didn’t and our discipline was poor at times , particularly in the first half. And even in the second when we built some momentum, we just didn’t defend their yardage or restrict their metres well enough.”

McNamara didn’t use the two recent breaks for the Challenge Cup as an excuse for his team’s defeat and he is expecting a swift response from his players against Hull on Saturday.

He added, “We prepared well for the Huddersfield game and while it has been a little stop-start recently that is no excuse.

“We’re not going to over-react to this loss, just like we don’t get too carried away with our wins. But we clearly need to look at that performance in depth and our response is the most important thing now and that’s next week against Hull FC.”

McNamara reported only one injury concern from the defeat to the Giants, adding: “Gil Dudson has got a slight hamstring and he couldn’t come back on for us in the second half and we have some other bumps and bruises but it’s a bit too early to fully assess.”

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