McNamara discusses “competitive” Qualifiers

Steve McNamara admitted Catalans are adapting to the pressures of the Qualifiers.

The Dragons picked up their second win of the campaign against Halifax last week, keeping their hopes of automatic safety alive.

It is the first time the club has participated in the Qualifiers, with McNamara admitting it had been a different challenge for some of his players.

McNamara himself is feeling the pressures of the mini-series for the first time, and he admits it is a demanding experience.

“It’s extremely tough for all the clubs involved,” he said.

“It’s a situation we’re certainly not used to in terms of the Catalans Dragons. The majority of our players have never been involved in that and obviously there are some very good teams.

“It’s a very competitive competition, we’ve seen that with all the Championship’s performances. The stakes are so high that there is that added pressure that affects people in different ways.”

They take on Championship opposition for a third time on Saturday, with the Dragons entertaining winless Featherstone.

Having coached against London and Halifax, McNamara believes there is evidence to suggest the gap between Super League and the Championship is narrowing.

“I’ve been away for a while but I’d suggest with the closeness of these games that it’s closer,” he said.

“I don’t know how over a whole season if that would be the case, but certainly, the Championship teams have done themselves extremely proud so far in this competition.”