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Steve McNamara worries about Sam Tomkins injury as ‘ferocious’ fans earn their stripes

If rugby league fans have ever witnessed something as special as the atmosphere that greeted Catalans Dragons as they took on Hull KR at the Stade Gilbert Brutus tonight then pinch me.

The unbelievable carnival aura may well have overawed the Dragons players, but head coach Steve McNamara felt his side dealt with the pressure well as the Frenchmen ran out 28-10 winners and book a place in the Super League Grand Final for the first time.

“The occasion was sensational and that was a show in itself, but there was a danger in getting caught up in that crowd and everything else that went with it,” McNamara said.

“It wasn’t a great performance, but it was gritty – these people are different, they are ferocious and look after their own.

“We are indebted to them tonight and it was payback for their support throughout the season.”

McNamara knows his side need to improve ahead of the Grand Final showdown at Old Trafford, but he isn’t worried about that.

“We’ve got to go there and win it, getting there is a massive achievement but it was a really tough game tonight.

“We didn’t quite find our rhythm but we got enough points on the board to win it.

“I’m disappointed that those sat in the studio couldn’t have been here, they needed to experience this, it’s an incredible place on a night like this.

“There was some anxiety about the group tonight, but I don’t think there will be any next week because they will be ready to go.”

Whether or not Sam Tomkins – who dropped out of the squad this week – plays is another debate altogether.

“We will see about Sam, he pulled out yesterday.”

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