Dragons make history, but at a cost

CATALANS DRAGONS are counting the cost of Saturday’s dramatic Golden Point winner against St Helens.
Injuries to Samisoni Langi, Joel Tomkins and Fouad Yaha took the shine off an incredible comeback performance, which earned the League Leaders’ Trophy for the first time in the French club’s history.
Coach Steve McNamara is awaiting news on his beat-up players who will undergo hospital tests on Monday.
He told League Express: “Samisoni had severe concussion and we were really concerned for him. It was crucial that he got immediate medical treatment and thankfully we managed to delay our flight home and he could join us on the plane.
“He has a wrist injury, however, and he will be going for hospital scans this morning (Monday) to assess the extent of it.
“Joel Tomkins was also badly concussed and he was too ill to make the flight home. Fouad (Yaha) has a hamstring issue and we are hoping it isn’t too serious.
“I spoke to Kristian (Woolf, St Helens coach) after the game and he said his players were pretty beaten up too.
“It’s their third game in a short spell and it takes its toll.”
The injuries cast a cloud on a historic day for the Catalans and McNamara was full of praise for his players and colleagues after the game, after his team scored three tries in the final five minutes to draw level at 30-all, before James Maloney kicked the winning field-goal eight minutes into golden-point time.
“It’s an outstanding achievement for the club,” said McNamara.
“Four years ago we were losing at half-time in the Million Pound game.
“We’re now at the stage where we are consistent enough to finish in the top four last year and top of the league now for the first time in our history after a really tough season.
“We deserve to be where we are now because of what we have done so far this season. Whether we deserve to go on and win it will depend on what we do next.”
McNamara is hoping for a little less drama in this Saturday’s home clash against Huddersfield Giants but he admits that the win over St Helens was good for the profile of the game.
He added: “The drama and the theatre of it was incredible. There were so many twists and turns, even in the golden point period.
“In all honesty we didn’t handle that spell well but we found a way and it was nice to hear the neutral fans cheering us on at the end.
“After all that excitement, I do have to look at it and ask whether we would progress if we played like that in a semi or final.
“We need to play better. We need to take a close look at that game and find out what we need to do better next week.”
And as for the possibility of a change of mind for Catalans’ talismanic field-goal winner Maloney, who is switching to part-time Rugby League in the French Championship at the end of the season, McNamara added, “It’s time for Jimmy, you want to see him after every game, his face is split and his head is cut, he puts everything on the line in every game.
“He never flinches; he’s been great for us and done everything we asked of him and more.
“He deserves to take this little change of direction in his career.”

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