“He is a genuine leader” – Catalans coach hails Sam Tomkins after Hull KR win

Catalans coach Steve McNamara hailed Sam Tomkins a “genuine leader” following their 23-16 win at Hull KR.

Rovers welcomed 6,500 fans to their first home match in nearly two months following the easing of Covid-19 regulations but they were unable to match the Betfred Super League leaders.

REPORT: Hull KR 16-23 Catalans: Dragons make it 12 wins in a row.

McNamara lauded full-back and man of the match Sam Tomkins whose wife is due to give birth on Tuesday.

McNamara said: “I think it’s as good a win as we’ve had this season. There was every reason for us to come here and not win tonight.

“We were out on our feet at the end. They’ve been great. We lost our captain two weeks back, Ben Garcia, with a badly broken arm. These boys have come in and they’ve done us proud.

“I think they (Hull KR) are a good team. They will be a danger if they get in the play-offs. We are thankful we have managed to get three wins against them this season.”

On try-scorer Tomkins, McNamara added: “He is a genuine leader. His performance tonight was incredible.

“He nearly didn’t make the trip tonight, his wife is going to have a baby tomorrow.”

Catalans were always on top and led by the quick thinking of Tomkins and 11 points from the boot of James Maloney they never really looked in trouble.

Tries from Romain Franco, Samisoni Langi and Tomkins saw them outscore Rovers by three tries to two, Adam Quinlan touching down twice for the home side, with Jordan Abdull converting both and adding two penalties.

Franco marked his debut with Catalans’ first try from a cut-out pass by Tomkins and Langi made the most of the home defence spilling a high ball, Tomkins adding the third when his quick thinking and clever running saw him jink his way past three defenders.

Quinlan’s dummy pass set up the first of his two tries and then the second came thanks to the persistence of Greg Minikin but although they were never out of the contest Rovers struggled to match the cutting edge shown by the visitors when in possession.

Rovers head coach Tony Smith praised his players for making Catalans work hard for their win.

He said: “We are competing with the top of the league there. A couple of years ago when I came to this place if we had lost to the best team in the comp we would have thought we had had a good crack at it. Now we go into each match thinking we have a chance (of winning).

“I can’t knock my boys for effort. Tonight we had more grit about our goal-line defence. We held them out for long periods of time.”

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