Catalans pushing for home quarter-final after Challenge Cup progress

David Mead (1) of Catalan Dragons touches down for his 3rd try of the game.

Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara is hoping his side’s Coral Challenge Cup quarter-final against Salford will be played in Perpignan.

The 2018 Wembley winners booked their place in the last eight with a 36-24 victory over Wakefield in a delayed sixth-round tie at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium.

Venues for the quarter-final ties, which will be played over the weekend of September 18-20, have yet to be determined but the BBC have already chosen to screen the Warrington v St Helens and Castleford or Hull v Wigan matches on the Saturday.

The French club have played all four fixtures since the resumption in England, with chairman Bernard Guasch footing the weekly £50,000 cost of chartering a plane, but they have Super League matches against Leeds and Wigan scheduled for the Stade Gilbert Brutus on September 7 and 12 when they expect to play in front of socially distant crowds.

“I see no reason why we couldn’t have played at home for this one but certainly for the next round we’ll be expecting to play at home,” McNamara said after a hat-trick of tries from centre David Mead helped his side see off Wakefield for the second successive week.

Trinity were much improved from their 58-0 rout at the hands of the same opponents in Super League just seven days earlier but were still no match for the French club, who look in the mood to repeat their 2018 Wembley triumph.

“It was a really tough game,” McNamara said. “I thought we really rolled our sleeves up. Wakefield were tough and tenacious and we had to dig deep to get the win.

“We fought our way out of some tough periods in the game and to concede the last two tries was really disappointing after the way we had defended.”

Josh Drinkwater was named man of the match after creating four of the Dragons’ six tries with precision kicks but McNamara was equally pleased with his half-back partner James Maloney.

“Drinky got the accolades because of the kicks he supplied for tries but some of the yardage kicks Jimmy put in were really important,” McNamara said. “His intelligence of when to kick and where to put the ball was crucial.”

1 Comment

  1. All quarter final ties should be played in Manchester. We must tread carefully with the covid.
    We must also reduce pollution.

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