Steve McNamara hails Israel Folau following Catalans’ comeback win at Hull FC

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara has lauded the contribution of centre Israel Folau after seeing his side recover from 18 points down to claim a shock win at Hull FC.

Folau was subjected to boos from the FC faithful and struggled to make much of an impact as the hosts gained a stranglehold on the contest as it approached the hour mark, leading 28-10.

Benjamin Jullien, Josh Drinkwater and Samison Langi all crossed for the Dragons as the scores became tied at 28-28, before Marc Sneyd added what looked like a match-winning drop-goal on 77 minutes.

However, Folau rose highest to claim the resultant short kick-off, laying the platform for half-back James Maloney to score with one of the final touches of the game.

Following the match, McNamara said: “To come up with the short kick off and for Izzy to go up there and take it one-handed and it gives us a chance to win it, we are obviously happy with the end result.

“He is a special player and it was a special catch. I thought we under-used him during the game, I thought we could have used him more.

“I thought he was solid today without being spectacular. But he comes out with a really good play to give us a last chance.

“Without a doubt, he is a real talent. We didn’t give him any area today, we never kicked the ball to him but he worked hard for the team, which is formidable.

“He is more of an attacking threat and I was disappointed that we didn’t kick the ball for him more.”

Having been off the pace for the opening 60 minutes of the match, McNamara admits he did not see his side’s dramatic turnaround coming.

“We never gave ourselves any chances for 40-50 minutes of the game but went back to what we should have done and scored some nice tries,” he said.

“It is a big performance from us, to score six tries away at Hull. I’m not happy for the full 80 minutes – we played well in parts of that game but if we are going to be real contenders, we have to be better than that.”

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