‘I thought initially he’d hit the ball and gone up a bit’ – Steve McNamara reacts to Dylan Napa red card after Catalans Dragons’ loss to St Helens

It’s safe to say that Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara wasn’t too happy following the final whistle.

His side had just gone down 28-8 to Super League champions St Helens, having had one man sent to the sinbin in Gil Dudson and another being given a red card in Dylan Napa.

Napa was given his marching orders in the 71st minute after hitting Saints’ Mark Percival round the head with a wild shoulder charge, but McNamara confessed that he didn’t really see it, praising Napa in the process for his physical presence during the match.

“I thought he put himself about a lot,” McNamara told Sky Sports.

“He was a physical presence, but he caught one too high there and he’s paid the price for it.

“I didn’t see it too closely so I’m not sure, but initially I thought he’d hit the ball and gone up a bit.”

What was clear in McNamara’s interview was his determination not to overreact to the defeat even if he did rue some poor choices.

“I thought we had some good intent at times with defence, we didn’t concede for periods of games, but there were some really poor missed tackles particularly in the last 15 minutes of the first-half.

“It’s round one, whether you win or lose that game you don’t want to overreact or underreact, but there were some things in there that weren’t good enough – I thought our attack was awful tonight.”

The Dragons boss gave his thoughts on Mitchell Pearce’s debut, too.

“I thought he was quiet tonight and the first 20-25 minutes we were ok defensively but our attack never really got going and that’s for us and him to work on.”

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