“European tour” affecting Catalans, admits Steve McNamara

Catalans coach Steve McNamara says the effects of travelling over the last month has taken its toll on his side.

The Dragons lost 34-4 to Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Catalans have had away games against Warrington, Hull FC and Wakefield within the last month, along with their Nou Camp match against Wigan. McNamara believes his side have been affected by the travelling.

Speaking after their defeat at Warrington, he said: “We have done a tour of Europe over the last four weeks.

“We got an away draw in the Cup, we took a game to Barcelona and then we had Magic Weekend, so we have had a lot of things to contend with and we hadn’t dealt with them as well as we could have done but it won’t be an issue moving forwards whatsoever. We will get back, we will refocus and we will be ready to go.

“Last week, we had to drive from Hull to Gatwick to get back to Barcelona and then we had to get back to Perpignan from Barcelona. It is what it is, when you get an away draw at that time of the year and you need to book flights – it is really difficult.

“The players have been through the mill in terms of travel and everything that goes with it but we still need to deal with it better than we have.

“This is why this is a great job, this is why this club is a great club to play for – we have different challenges compared to all the other teams. I thought we dealt with them well this season apart from the last two weeks.”

McNamara refused to blame the travel for his side’s defeat to the Wolves though, making it clear that the Wolves deserved the two points.

He added: “Warrington were too good for us today.

“We were struggling at the start of the second half but we stayed in there but they scored a couple of late tries through our fatigue. I don’t think we deserved the scoreline it was, but it is a cruel game at times.

“The second halves in our last two games haven’t been good enough, we’ve been in both games until half-time. We will get back to France and have some stability at last.”

Matt Whitley sustained an ankle injury and will be assessed further in the coming days, while Micky McIlorum, Mika Simon and Sam Kasiano all suffered concussion.

McNamara hopes to have Remi Casty, Mickael Goudemand, Brayden Wiliame and Lewis Tierney back to face London at home next Saturday.

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