All season I have been talking up games as being must win, or one that will kick-start our season, and this is another one. A loss last week at Magic would have all but consigned Catalan to the middle 8’s for the second year, but thankfully, they came good against a tired looking Salford.
The performance last week was far from perfect with the usual quota of errors, but for the first time this season, things seemed to click. For many years, Catalan were known for their offload game, and we saw glimpses of that, with Jodie Broughton back to his devastating best.
Although any hopes of the grand final ended weeks ago, the top 8 is now within reach. The next 4 games are all winnable and by the end of June, we could be looking at a Challenge Cup Semi Final and the securing of a top 8 place. Leeds arrive in poor form. They were taken apart by Castleford last weekend and have added a number of long-term injuries to their growing treatment room.
I will be interested to see how Richie Myler fares in his return to Perpignan. Myler will still be joined by others with experience, but too many gaps are being filled by untested youngsters and they will find the heat difficult, especially if the resurgent Catalan start strongly. I predict that Leeds will hold their own in a see-saw first half, but the threat of Gigot, Broughton, Mead and Wiliame will come good as Catalan move ever closer to Salford in the much sought after 8th place.
Prediction: Catalans 26-18 Leeds