Catalans “not getting carried away” after winning three from three

Drew Darbyshire
Tyrone May, Paul Seguier and Ben Garcia Catalans Dragons SWpix

Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix

Catalans coach Steve McNamara insists his side won’t get carried away despite their impressive start to the season.

The Dragons have won their first three games of the Super League campaign against Wakefield, Leigh and most recently Hull.

On Friday night in Perpignan, McNamara guided his side to a 38-6 win over Hull, who his son Ben plays for.

McNamara said: “We won’t get carried away with anything, it’s far too early to draw any conclusions but I’m very proud of our performance tonight.

“We were very good tonight but we won’t get carried away.

“The first two games we had to find a way to win without being happy with our performance but tonight was a lot more Dragon-like.

“We defended physically aggressive and more positive than we did in the first two games and put a lot of pressure on Hull.

“Both teams needed that type of game, every coach has his own situation but we had some players in tonight and some out that we didn’t expect.

“We’re three games in and it was nice to get a win like that. It was our best performance of the season so far.

“We won’t get carried away with anything, it’s far too early to draw any conclusions but I’m very proud of our performance tonight.

“It’s only round three. Hull are a good side and it just didn’t happen for them tonight.”

Story of the game

Catalans lost scrum-half Cesar Rouge in the fourth minute when he fell to the ground with an apparent knee injury, his France international team-mate Mickael Goudemand coming on early as a replacement.

The Dragons went ahead two minutes later through an Adam Keighran penalty before Hull’s Josh Griffin had to leave the field for a head injury assessment following a heavy collision in defence. He returned to the field later.

Adam Swift then lost the ball on attack 15 metres from his own line and Catalans almost scored when Arthur Mourgue broke to put Goudemand over the line, but he failed to collect the pass.

The Dragons turned up the heat, and when prop Julian Bousquet put a monster hit upon opposite number Chris Satae and loosened the ball, the home team seized their chance. Quick hands to the left found Tom Johnstone, who struck for his fifth try of the season at the corner flag, Keighran converting from the touchline for 8-0.

From the restart, Catalans captain Ben Garcia was taken high, resulting in a scuffle and, from the resulting penalty, Paul Seguier burst over the line from 10 metres out, with Keighran again on target with the conversion.

To make matters worse for Hull, Catalans brought former Sydney Roosters prop Siua Taukeiaho on for his debut but the Dragons could not turn pressure into any more points, Keighran missing a penalty on the stroke of half-time to leave it 14-0 at the interval.

Dragons 14-0 up at the break

A penalty for an illegal ball steal on Jordan Dezaria in the opening seconds of the second half saw Catalans spin the ball right for Goudemand to stride through a gap and touch down, Keighran again on target with the kick.

The Dragons went further ahead when Garcia put Taukeiaho through between the posts for a try on debut in the 50th minute, Keighran’s simple conversion putting clear daylight between the sides at 26-0.

He added a penalty moments later following a high tackle on Johnstone and then a try of his own after a powerful burst from Tiaki Chan, again converted to make it 32-6.

A late consolation try for Andre Savelio, converted by Jake Clifford, was all that Hull could salvage from a long night in the south of France.

Garcia wrapped up the game with a powerful burst and try between the posts with a minute left to play, again converted by Keighran.

Match details

Catalans: Mourgue, Davies, Keighran, Romano, Johnstone; Rouge, May; Navarrete, McIlorum, Bousquet, Seguier, McMeeken, Garcia. Subs: Goudemand, Chan, Taukeiaho, Dezaria.

Tries: Johnstone, Seguier, Goudemand, Taukeiaho, Keighran, Garcia Goals: Keighran 6

Hull: Hoy; Swift, Sutcliffe, Scott, McIntosh; McNamara, Clifford; Evans, Dwyer, Satae, Griffin, Lane, Fash. Subs: Sao, Savelio, Lovodua, Brown.

Tries: Savelio Goals: Clifford

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