Catalans were unbeaten going into today’s tussle with Warrington. Many fancied the Dragons to maintain their 100% start to the season following in the footsteps of St Helens and Wigan at the top of the early season table.
However it turned into a curious 24-8 loss at the hands of the previously up and down Wolves. After dominating the first 30 minutes, the game got away from Catalans through a few key moments and after the game Steve McNamara addressed why he felt his side came up short after such a good start to the season.
“We’re all disappointed with not getting the win and not quite playing as smooth as we have done. It was a really tough game,” McNamara said in his post-match press conference.
“Just like we didn’t overreact to our victories, we’re not going to overreact to that loss. The effort was there. The intent was there from the team. We were just a little bit off the mark and it only takes that little bit to be off the mark and that was most of our individuals. We just weren’t able to get the victory in the end.”
The Dragons had scored 117 points in their first four games of the season in all competitions, including racking up 42 points a week ago at home against Salford. So, it’s no surprise that McNamara was perhaps surprised and disappointed by their lack of smoothness with the ball in hand this evening.
Catalans only crossed for one try during the defeat today and that gave them an 8-0 lead after 27 minutes as the French outfit took control of the contest, but that quickly dissipated following tries from Ben Currie and Toby King just before half-time which set them on the path to a first defeat of the season.
Despite losing their 100 percent start and allowing a potential rival to take home the two league points, McNamara identified some major positives in the performance as they look to push for honours in 2021.
The Dragons coach added: “The real positive for both teams was defensively. I know we conceded 24 points but they were strange points. I think both teams will be happy with how they defended overall. We didn’t look like we were going to get broken on too many plays. On the other side I thought we did look like we were going to break Warrington at times but we just missed some of those opportunities.
“It was just one of those games for us. It’s not something that we like but we’re not going to get too down about this loss.”
It appears that despite the loss, McNamara remains confident of his side’s chances in 2021 and based on their performances so far this season he has every right to be. Next week they renew rivalries with Wakefield whom they beat in the Challenge Cup recently as they look to keep pace with Wigan and St Helens at the top.