Most coaches would not be proud following a 48-4 defeat to a play-off rival, but Steve McNamara sure was as he spoke to Sky Sports last night following Catalans’ defeat to Wigan.
Why? Because he handed out a total of 10 debuts on the night as Catalans played with an average squad number of 33.
The young side gave it their all despite their limited Super League experience and made it much harder for Wigan than most expected trailing just 6-0 after 30 minutes.
After the game, McNamara noted his pride for all those involved whilst revealing Catalans’ unique approach to the game, treating it as a series of mini-matches rather than an 80-minute battle.
Further, he also revealed how some of the players returned home from holidays simply to play: “It was a huge effort from them. They only trained for the first time last night for the first and only time together.
“Some of them are in pre-season and some of them have come back off holidays to play, things like that.
“Great determination. We said we’d play 8 10-minute games rather than look at it over 80 minutes and we drew two 10-minute blocks and won one 10-minute block. We had some small wins across the park to be fair.
“A massive effort, Wigan are a good side. It gives them a taste against probably one of the best teams in the competition and something they need to aim for in the future.
“I think it would be really tough to single out any individual because they really did work hard for each other. All 10 of them and some of our senior ones have only had 5 or 10 games and Josh Drinkwater led the team around well.”