Steve McNamara is hoping that Sam Tomkins will be the Catalans’ catalyst as the club seeks to become established in the higher echelons of Rugby League.
Tomkins kicked a 75th minute long-range penalty goal which proved decisive in the Dragons’ victory over Warrington Wolves on Saturday night and his coach says the former Wigan fullback is crucial for the future success of the club.
McNamara told League Express: “We’re at the stage where we are building the foundations for this club. Part of that process is learning how to fight and learning how to overcome some adversities.
“Sam has those characteristics and the whole team showed that spirit to fight back from being behind twice. And for him to step up and take that shot at goal was typical of Sam. He never looked like missing that kick.
“Warrington are an established team and we are trying to achieve the same status. Yes, we won the Cup last year but we’re trying to aim for bigger things and for us to do that we have to take on some of these traits and keep investing in those tough areas.
“Sam’s leadership and competitiveness are infectious. And we are a much better defensive team than we were last season. People can underestimate the value that a fullback can bring for you in that area.
“We got broke a few times against Warrington and he saved us. His communication with the players in front of him and his leadership skills are excellent.
“Sam’s been great for us, just as we expected. He’s got that winning mentality which is so important to this club as we move forward.”
Tomkins said after last Saturday’s match: “It’s great to see the Catalans fans celebrating; they’re a passionate bunch and they create a great atmosphere so we as players just want to go out there and do them proud. The supporters deserve a quality team here and it’s up to us as players to put our best performances in every single time we’re out in front of them.
“I’m fully buying in to the way of life over here and the people. I’m learning all the time and I’m really enjoying it.”
The Dragons have once again declined to comment on media speculation linking them with Melbourne Storm prop forward Sam Kasiano, although an announcement on player recruitment is expected to be made by the club early this week.
Meanwhile, the club confirmed last week that David Mead is likely to be out for eight to ten weeks after suffering an adductor tendon injury against Wakefield Trinity last week, while Jodie Broughton has been ruled out for a lengthy period after suffering a biceps tendon rupture during last Saturday reserve team game at Albi.