Steve McNamara delighted for debutant Matt Ikuvalu following try-scoring debut 

Josh McAllister
Matt Ikuvalu, SWPix.

Picture by Rémi Vignaud/Catalans Dragons/

Catalans coach Steve McNamara says he was “delighted” for Matt Ikuvalu following his try-scoring debut as the Dragons fought back for a 24-12 victory over St Helens. 

The hosts found themselves 12-0 behind against Paul Wellens’ St Helens in Perpignan before turning the game around to claim their seventh win of the season.

The reigning Super League champions took an early lead through returning prop forward Alex Walmsley, before England international Jack Welsby scored 10 minutes later, with Tommy Makinson converting both.

But McNamara’s side fought back with tries through Arthur Mourgue, two for Tom Davies and Ikuvalu on debut.

The Australian outside-back recently made the switch from Down Under on a deal until the end of 2023, with an option for 2024, and was named in the centres for his first appearance in Super League. 

The French outfit also welcomed back half-back Mitchell Pearce for the first time since Round Seven, partnering Sam Tomkins in the halves.

Steve McNamara ‘delighted’ for Matt Ikuvalu

McNamara said: “It was a bizarre start to the match, we were in control and then 12-0 down all of a sudden.

“Just two lapses in concentration and we were punished, but what a response, 24 points from us after that point.

“We prepared really well.

“It was difficult with a lot of players in the French squad, but having Mitchell Pearce and Sam Tomkins training all week, and playing tonight has done us the world of good.

“I’m delighted for Matt Ikuvalu to have such a good game on his debut and he’ll be really strong for us going forward, as is Adam Keighran who has been consistently very important for the team.”

Catalans now sit fourth on the Super League table below Warrington, Wigan and Hull KR respectively and travel to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in Round 12 next Friday. 

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