Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin has made a name for making bold statements in recent months.
From claiming that the Salford Red Devils did not have ‘the minerals’ to make it to the play-offs to praising Leeds Rhinos’ Richie Myler for the way in which he earned a penalty and a sinbin for Hudderfield Giants’ Chris Hill in their clash over a week ago, Wilkin is not afraid to speak out.
And, in the build-up to Leeds Rhinos’ away trip to Catalans Dragons, Wilkin stated that Covid-19 had helped the French side as it enabled them to be more together and united.
That was based on a difficult period that the Dragons have been going through, with an inconsistency that was not present back in 2021 as Steve McNamara’s men made it all the way to the Super League Grand Final.
But Wilkin has a unique theory for that.
“I think Covid-19 actually helped them,” Wilkin said.
“You’ve got a tour mentality and it brings you together as a group. Anecdotally the evidence suggests they were better last year than this year and I’m scratching as to why they were better last year than this.
“I believe that travelling together and being tight and ruthless helped them, but this year they have been scratchy.
“You spend more time with the lads and the more you are away and together you can find understanding and empathy towards each other can go through the roof.”
For Catalans, they have qualified for the Super League play-offs, but it has been a less than impressive number of months for McNamara.
However, add into the mix a dismal injury list as well as the experience given to young French starlets and Catalans have done well to stay in the top four and those young Frenchmen will be all the more better for their experience.