Baitieri ready to battle away blues

Catalans forward Jason Baitieri says the Dragons have to get the monkey off their back and return to regularly winning games away from home this season.

The French side, which just won match away from Perpignan in 2015, open their Super League season at Wigan this Friday night.

Baitieri told Love Rugby League the Dragons’ squad have spoken as a team about how to their away hoodoo.

“It’s more about preparation and just getting the monkey off our back so to speak,” the back-rower said.

“We have poor away form because teams think we’ve been travelling and things like that, and I don’t think that is an excuse this year.

“I think we can really get away from that and set the tone for round one.”

Catalans made the top eight last year but failed to trouble the top four in the Super 8s.

Baitieri believes the raft of new players who have joined the Dragons may help destroy their mental block away from home.

“We’ve had some games, in my first couple of years here, 2011 and 2012, we played some awesome footy and won [away] games against Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, some of the biggest clubs,” he said.

“It’s about getting the monkey off our back, not having that mentality that we’re travelling, that we have that record.

“I think it’s good that we have a clean slate with the team with all the new players in it and I think they’ll help with that mentality as well.”

Catalans have played two friendlies in pre-season, defeating a French select team and losing to Huddersfield.

“Pre-season has been going really well,” Baitieri said.

“Considering we’ve got nine new players, it’s always going to be tough at first. We’re working on our combinations and just rhythm and confidence throughout the team.

“We had a hit out against a French Select side, which was more of a dusting the boots off, and then we had a real hit out against Huddersfield.

“I think even though we came away with the loss there was a lot of positives, it kind of showed us where we’re at and what we need to work on.”

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