Breathless. Catalans Dragons 2019 Season Review

Inconsistency was certainly the main talking point for the Catalans Dragons as they endured another ‘topsy-turvy’ season in the Betfred Super League.

They recorded some impressive results but were also the victims of some hidings that not only saw them fail to defend their Challenge Cup but also miss out on the play-offs once again.

After initially being in pole position at challenging honours, it was another season of what could have been in 2019, something they will have to rectify from next season onwards.

 

Best Result: Catalans Dragons 33-16 Wigan Warriors

A pick of their wins has to be their superb home win over the then reigning champions Wigan Warriors, over at the Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona.

The game was remembered for having the highest attendance for a regular round match in the Super League, with 31,555 in attendance.

As for the match itself, a competitive first half disguised a dominant second period for the hosts.

A try from former Wigan Warrior Michael McIlorum and two goals from Tony Gigot edged the Dragons ahead, with Liam Marshall scoring a converted try for the visitors.

The Dragons then flew away with the match with tries from Samisoni Langi, Sam Kasiano and two from David Mead, with a further four goals and field-goal from Gigot.

Wigan scored two late tries through Oliver Gildart and Zak Hardaker but the damage was long done.

The Dragons gave such a big crowd a real treat with their impressive performance, a positive for the game that such a part of the world enjoyed highly entertaining rugby league too.

 

Worst Result: Catalans Dragons 0-46 Salford Red Devils

Certainly not their finest hour as they sustained a heavy defeat to Salford Red Devils back in March.

Taking nothing away from Salford, especially considering they themselves enjoyed their greatest ever season in the summer era, but to not only be thrashed at home but also blanked is high on unforgivable from the hosts.

Catalans just had no answer to their visitors, led by the future Man of Steel Jackson Hastings, where it was just one-way traffic.

Joey Lussick scored early prior to George Griffin and Jake Bibby each scoring two tries.

Later, Hastings and Niall Evalds touched down before Ken Sio’s late try and his seven goals completing the scoring.

A highly unexpected result considering their win over Warrington the previous week, maybe a reality check?! Who knows.

 

Main Man: Samisoni Langi

A difficult choice but one man who arguably went under the radar who deserves the plaudits is Samisoni Langi.

The 26-year-old avoided ‘second year syndrome’ with the Dragons, helping them be competitive for large periods of 2019.

His personal contribution includes scoring five tries, providing nine assists, managing 2769 metres 56 tackles busts and even completing 473 tackles.

Quite an effort from a player who plays predominantly in the back line, even though he is utilised as a utility player nonetheless.

One of their better signings in recent years who still has plenty to offer in the game.

 

Predicted 6th – Finished 7th

It was always going to be an improvement from last season as their recruitment seemed strong, but it could have gone a lot better than it did for Catalans.

The Dragons looked good for a play-off place, especially following their 30-10 win over Warrington at the start of August, perhaps dampened by trouble at the end of the game.

However, a sudden drastic change of form saw them lose their last five games that caused them to slide down the table, ultimately making up the numbers and nothing more once again.

Not one would call a successful season by accounts as the Dragons, in the end, were the shadow of the side that triumphed at Wembley the previous year.

They suffered from consistency issues, being able to defeat play-off rivals such as Wigan, Warrington and Hull FC but lose out to London more than once, Hull KR and Huddersfield in other games.

This was their downfall and their main target to focus on into next season, should they wish to keep the sport successful over in France!

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