Steve McNamara mystified by Catalans Dragons’ collapse against Wigan Warriors

STEVE McNAMARA is one of the most experienced coaches in Super League but he is struggling to find a reason for his table-topping side’s alarming collapse against Wigan Warriors on Saturday night.

Catalans Dragons were humbled 34-0 in front of their biggest crowd of the season, despite nilling Wigan themselves (48-0 and 28-0) on their last two meetings in Perpignan.

Fireworks and flares in the pre-match build-up at Stade Gilbert Brutus were extinguished quickly as a rampant and well-disciplined Warriors side destroyed Les Dracs in emphatic style.

McNamara said: “We were on the back foot all of the time, we were kicking from poor field position, we couldn’t get any ruck speed and we didn’t respond in the second half. Every aspect of our game was poor.

“Wigan came with a plan and for the first time for a long time we got dominated in every area.

“But that is sport, it’s the same kind of thing we have done to other teams this season. Full credit to Wigan they came out and did to us what we wanted to do them, especially on a big occasion like tonight.

“You can talk about kicking, back-field, forwards whatever, we were poor in every area tonight and that is to our detriment but full credit to the opposition.

“The response is what is really important now, we are still top with four games to go but Wigan have made it a real fight. We have to get ourselves ready to go in six days’ time.

“We will respond; we are not in this position (top of Super League) for no reason and we will respond really well next week. We need to address tonight’s performance immediately.”

McNamara revealed that Super League’s top try-scorer will miss Catalans’ next game, away to Hull KR on Friday, and there are selection concerns for other first-teamers.

He added: “Tom Johnstone has failed his concussion test, so he won’t play for us next week, Siua Taukeiaho was limping around a bit so we’ll take a look at him but there are a lot of wounded bodies and scars from that game.”

McNamara will also be keeping an eye on Monday’s RFL disciplinary decisions following an incident in the game where Wigan forward Brad O’Neill received rib damage after a collision in the tackle with Catalans’ full-back Sam Tomkins.

O’Neill had to leave the field in pain after coming into contact with Tomkins’ knee.