2022 was not the year Catalans dreamed it be. They envisaged going one step further than they did in 2021 when they finished top and only just came up short in the Grand Final against St Helens.
However, they slipped to fourth largely down to injuries before being knocked out of the play-offs in week one by Old Trafford bound Leeds Rhinos.
It would be easy to blame their downfall on new signing Mitchell Pearce who had massive shoes to fill in the shape of James Maloney’s.
The two used to play alongside each other for Sydney where they won the 2013 NRL Grand Final as well as playing alongside each other for New South Wales winning a State of Origin.
However, Pearce has been an unappreciated success at the Dragons being one of the most prolific halfbacks in the league in terms of try scoring with 10 tries to his name and in 2023 is likely to help Catalans climb back up the table boosted by some savvy recruitment.
However, it was nearly very different for the former Newcastle Knights halfback as another club looked to swoop in and steal him away from the Dragons clutches according to reports down under.
These say that Pearce contacted Gold Coast Titans assistant Jim Dymock saying he would be willing to relocate to Gold Coast however former St Helens boss Justin Holbrook intervened backing youngster Toby Sexton instead.
Sexton would go on to have a tough year as the Titans struggled to continue developing under Holbrook with the club reportedly conceding that they made the wrong call and should have turned to Pearce going into this season.
Instead Pearce is set to play a key role for the Dragons as they look to return to the Grand Final in 2023.