‘We know what we have to fix’: Catalans Dragons ready for Wigan Warriors after shock loss

CATALANS will be “ready to go” against Wigan this Thursday after shrugging off their second league defeat of the season.

A 30-2 second-half collapse at Leigh Sports Village saw the Dragons concede Super League leadership to St Helens, but coach Steve McNamara isn’t pressing the panic button just yet.

“It’s very disappointing,” McNamara told League Express.

“I thought it was a fantastic first half, it was a really hard game with both teams going at it and it was a real arm wrestle.

“But I don’t think we threw enough at them to stress their defence and they got a breakaway try. Then our lack of discipline in the first ten minutes of the second half really cost us and the scoreboard ran away.”

Despite early periods of dominant possession, Catalans couldn’t score a try at Leigh with a solitary penalty goal from Arthur Mourgue their only score.

A long-range try by winger Josh Charnley midway through the first half was followed by four second-half strikes by the Leopards.

But McNamara hasn’t got time to dwell on his disappointment as he prepares to face a Warriors’ side that itself suffered a setback last week (a 26-10 defeat at Hull KR).

He said: “We didn’t get in until six o’clock on Saturday morning so we’ve lost a day and the schedule was already tight for us. It’s a short turnaround and two away trips in a row but we will be ready to go against Wigan, make no mistake.

“We’ve had a couple of performances which haven’t been up to standard. But I said from the start, we’ve got a new team and we’ve shown traits of what we are about, but have fallen away in a couple of games.

“We know what we have to fix.

“We’ve got to look at some of the areas where we didn’t do well and then pick the right team and approach as we prepare for Wigan, like we do with every game.”

McNamara is hoping for reinforcements to arrive for the Wigan game, adding: “At Leigh we were missing Mike McMeeken, Michael McIlorum, Jordan Dezaria and Julian Bousquet from the previous game against Hull KR, which is a fair chunk of our power.

“With that in mind, we held our gloves up pretty well in the middle of the field, but their halves probably outplayed ours on the day. Leigh had some good plays that quickly scored some points and we’ll be looking at the reasons why.”

McNamara reported no major injury worries from the Leigh defeat apart from centre Matt Ikuvalu, who left the pitch in the second half clutching his right shoulder.

“We’ll have to take a close look at Matt and also check on Jordan Dezaria and Julien Bousquet, but there are no other new injury concerns at this stage.”

McMeeken will return from his one-match suspension against Wigan although hooker McIlorum will sit out a return to his former club as he serves the second game of his current two-match ban.

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,428 (April 29, 2024)

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