Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara believes his team is at a crossroads after an “embarrassing and shameful” performance in Perpignan on Saturday night.
The Dragons were crushed 46-14 by a rampant Salford Red Devils, their fourth loss from five games but the worst defeat of the season according to McNamara.
He said: “We’re angry and upset in terms of what we’ve done there.
“We’ve built over a period of years a reputation as a tough team to play against. It was always a hard game when you play the Catalans Dragons; you might beat us occasionally but it was always a tough game.
“Tonight was anything but for the opposition and that’s the bit that hurts, we were way too easy to beat tonight.”
McNamara said he hoped the nature of the defeat would shock his players into action because the consequences of similar performances in the remaining three games of the season would be devastating.
He added, “It’s still all there to play for, we can either go on, make something of the season and try to win the competition or continue to play like this and not make the play-offs at all.
“That’s the reality, that’s where it is, that’s fact unless we do something about it and improve dramatically.”
Whether or not the home drubbing will be a turning point for the Dragons will be tested in Toulouse on Thursday in the second of this season’s ‘French Derbies’.
The Olympians are resigned to relegation and could prove tricky opponents as they have little to play for other than pride.
“It was always going to be a big game but it’s even bigger for us now,” said McNamara, who will be hoping for good news on his injured fullback Sam Tomkins, who missed out against Salford.
“Sam has been nursing his knee for a long time but he’s been toughing it out and playing when he can and obviously, we’ve got a couple of injuries there but we’ve only got five days to get ready for the next one.
“Arthur (Mourgue) has damaged his ankle again, so we’ll have to see the extent of it and Mathieu (Cozza) with his concussion won’t be available for the Toulouse match.”
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