Sam Moa: Steve McNamara has been great with us

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Catalans ace Sam Moa speaks highly of coach Steve McNamara for the way he has managed the team through its highs and lows this season.

The Dragons had a poor start to the year and sat second-bottom after the first 11 rounds, having won just two games.

But an impressive second half to the season has seen Catalans secure a place in the Super 8s and reach the Challenge Cup final.

And Moa has praised McNamara for his management skills this term.

He told loverugbyleague.com: “After the start to the season that we had, I’ve got to give credit to Steve.

“At the start of the year, we lost nine out of 11 games but he was always positive and he continued to tell us to hang in there and that it would change.

“And with the addition of a few players, we have turned it around. Josh Drinkwater in particular has been good for us and has steered us around the park. Micky McIlorum has been outstanding all year and there’s a lot of guys in our team who have played well like David Mead. Our wingers have been phenomenal, so it’s been a big effort by everyone.

“Tony [Gigot] has been outstanding all year. He’s a special player and he has got an abundance of talent that not many people see but he’s an outstanding player and one that I rate really highly.”

The Dragons beat St Helens 35-16 at the University of Bolton Stadium on Sunday to progress through to the 2018 Challenge Cup final.

And Moa says reaching Wembley is big for French rugby league.

He added: “I’m happy for the club, our fans and for rugby league in France.

“It was a huge effort from us and I can’t wait to get home to my family and celebrate it with them.

“Last year we were in the Million Pound Game and if we had lost that then I think that would have been the end of rugby league in France. There’s so much that goes into keeping rugby league afloat in France and the Catalans Dragons certainly has to play its part.

“I’ve been to Wembley only once for a concert, but I haven’t been for a final so hopefully we can get through with a healthy squad and kick on.”

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