Catalans denied home play-off fixture, with Warrington to host Leeds clash

Catalans’ “home” play-off tie against Leeds will be held at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington on Friday, 24 hours after the Wolves host Hull.

The increased coronavirus restrictions have put paid to any hopes the French side had of hosting their play-off game at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, where they have been able to host just three matches since the season resumed in August.

They played by far the fewest games out of any of the remaining 11 Super League clubs, four fewer than the other five times involved in the play-offs, winning eight of their 13 games.

That was enough to secure them fourth in the table, ahead of Leeds and Hull on win percentage – despite the other two earning more points in the traditional system having played more games.

As it turned out, almost half of Catalans’ 13 games were actually played at home, with three played prior to lockdown to bring the total to six.

Their home games against Wigan, Wakefield and Hull KR were the only Super League games to host crowds since March.

But they won’t be back at home again in 2020 – and face a trip to either Wigan or St Helens if they can get past Leeds.

Catalans have gained plaudits for their efforts in continuing their commitment to Super League, which has seen not only seven privately-funded league trips, but two in the Challenge Cup.

They will be hoping that progress in the play-offs means three more UK trips, culminating in the Grand Final scheduled to be held on November 27th at Hull’s KCOM Stadium.

Meanwhile, Catalans’ opponents on Friday, Leeds, will have to progress without their head coach Richard Agar.

The Challenge Cup winners confirmed that Agar is self-isolating after another member of the coaching staff tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement said: “Leeds Rhinos have confirmed that a member of the club’s coaching staff has produced a positive antigen test result for Covid 19.

“As a result, that member of staff has been isolating this week. Because of that positive test result, two further members of the coaching staff are also self isolating, including Head Coach Richard Agar, to comply with the national track and trace guidelines. 

Richard Agar will continue to have an active role in preparations for next week’s Betfred Super League play-off clash with Catalans Dragons with Assistant Coach James Webster leading the coaching staff, which includes Sean Long who joined up with the squad today, in training next week.

“All three members of the coaching staff currently isolating are due to return to work after next weekend.”

4 Comments

  1. Next week the Hokey Cokey Karaoke game between whoever can cobble a team together against another cobbled team at a place and time no one yet knows and most people couldn’t care less about.
    Whilst admiring the tenacity of the efforts to get games played the Covid FAILURES are a blot on the game. Someone or something hasn’t been right for this to cause the chaos it has.
    The NRL didn’t have this kind of problem.

    • Massive discovery regarding coronavirus: we now have proof that the virus and the restrictions linked to it are both one-sided. Leeds, once more, cannot travel to France but Catalans can travel to the UK for the Dragons ‘home game’.
      Or is it the RFL that’s being one-sided ?

  2. It’s the headquarters say more and less game bans ametour union must be laughing forward pass in the game not punished when a try is scored

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