This weekend the Catalans vs Huddersfield fixture stood out as a meeting between two clubs at the top of the table colliding as fourth hosted third in the knowledge that the winner would take third place as the run in towards the end of the season hots up.
Unsurprisingly the two served up a real feisty and tight contest from start to finish. The game was level three times at 4-4, 10-10 and 12-12 before Sam Tomkins’ drop goal at the death gave Catalans the win.
Both sides held the lead twice with Chris McQueen’s opener giving the Giants first blood whilst later Will Pryce’s penalty gave Huddersfield the lead again at 12-10 after Catalans had taken a 10-4 lead through Arthur Romano and Benjamin Jullien only for Danny Levi’s try to peg them back prior to Pryce’s penalty.
A great game in good spirits, the press conference afterwards was a little bit more fiery as Steve McNamara, a former Huddersfield player himself, accused the Giants of disrespecting his club recently in talks with IMG who are striving to revolutionise Super League.
He told Sky Sports: “It was a real gritty performance against a team that I think don’t give us any respect at all.
“There is talk this week of Huddersfield saying French teams give nothing to the game in talks with IMG and that French teams should not be in the Super League competition, which is an absolute disgrace.
“What the Catalans have brought to this competition in 16, 17 seasons is on a par with what some of those clubs have brought in 100 years. It’s a terrible attitude towards our game and one aspect of the disrespect their club has shown us over a number of times recently, their opinion and attitude towards expansion and French teams in the competition.
“I hope IMG gets hold of this and look at it from a really broad perspective and do what is right for this game so that we aren’t an M62 corridor game in a 100 years’ time or that there isn’t a game, and don’t listen to small-minded people that have their own self-interest at heart.”
It’s a debate that goes back to the frequent discussion about whether and to where the game should expand.
That said, Huddersfield’s Chief Executive Richard Thewlis has hit back at the comments saying he had “no idea” where they came from.
He told the PA Media: “I have no idea how the Catalan coach would know what I have said to IMG, given I only met them for the first time last week in a group Super League meeting.
“How their Catalans representative interpreted the feelings of the confidential meeting is his prerogative.
“But I would suggest it is better these discussions remain private and we allow all to give their views honestly and we allow IMG to formulate their recommendations having taken soundings from all stakeholders which I am sure they will.”