Catalans can’t afford to use World Cup excuse any longer

After last season’s flirtation with relegation, Catalans needed a strong start to 2018.

It’s been anything but.

Three straight defeats, including two against supposedly the worst two teams in Super League in Widnes and Hull KR, has them rooted at the foot of the table.

Most alarmingly, neither the Vikings or the Robins really had to stretch themselves to despatch of the Dragons somewhat comfortably.

The recruitment of David Mead and Michael McIlorum were two of the headline captures of the off-season, yet that seems to have done little to change the habits of the Frenchmen.

Ill-discipline and errors have been the main facet of the Catalans three displays so far.

It’s tough that they had 15 players report back late for pre-season due to the World Cup, but that excuse can’t run for long.

That doesn’t make players go in late in the early stages of the game – we saw Sam Moa get sinbinned in the opener against Widnes for taking out Joe Mellor, while Luke Walsh was lucky not to be penalised for doing similar on Chris Atkin on Thursday night.

Nor does it make you cough up possession on the very first set of the game by playing the ball to a non-existent dummy half.

And with the current format meaning the regular season is so short, the Dragons can ill afford to keep this up for much longer.

Increasing questions hang over the Catalans, who have struggled with their identity in recent years.

Steve McNamara has been brought in to get that back and deliver a long-term project.

But if the defeats continue, their Super League existence may be put under threat once again.

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