In Profile: Catalans Dragons

In Profile: Catalans Dragons widnesvikings.co.uk
pic

20th September 2017

Widnes Vikings come up against the Catalans Dragons in a pivotal game in the Super 8s, The Qualifiers on Saturday 23rd September, kick-off 5:15pm. 

The winner of Satuday's game at the Stade Gilbert Brutus will retain their place in Super League, whilst the loser will take on Leigh Centurions in the Million Pound Game next weekend.

Therefore, the Vikings media team had a further look at Saturday's opponents ahead of this huge fixture... 

 

Regular Season Finish

10th (Betfred Super League)

P 23, W7, L15, D1

Points For: 469, Points Against: 689, Points Difference: -220

 

Coach: Steve McNamara (2017-Present)

Following a playing career with Hull FC, Bradford Bulls, Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants, McNamara’s first coaching job would be with former club Bradford in 2006 following Brian Noble’s departure to Wigan Warriors. As the youngest coach throughout British sport at the time, he guided the Bulls to the Super League Play Offs, losing out to Hull in the Grand Final Eliminator. His time as Bradford coach came to an end in July 2010 following an eighth consecutive defeat. McNamara was then made full-time England coach in 2010, and had six years in the job, with a 56% win percentage, including a World Cup Semi Final appearance at the 2013 World Cup. Leaving to become assistant in the NRL, first with the Sydney Roosters and then with New Zealand Warriors before joining the Dragons mid-way through the 2017 season. 

 

Danger Men: 

Luke Walsh – The experienced half back is central to anything that is good with the Dragons in 2017. The 30-year old has close to 200 games under his belt in his career, and is known for his organisation and his brilliant kicking game. Partnering up with Widnes-born Richie Myler, the pair have a combination of skills, kicking and running that trouble most teams throughout the league. The former Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers and St Helens star has made 28 appearances this year, with 3 tries, 4 drop goals and 89 goals, and will be wanting to direct his side to victory.

Paul Aiton – Another experienced members of the Dragons’ side, and his dynamism from dummy half offers speed and threat from behind the ruck to worry any defence. With NRL experience with Penrith Panthers and Cronulla Sharks, as well as Super League and Challenge Cup honours with Leeds Rhinos under his belt, Aiton will be drawing on his ‘big-game’ experience and channel it into Saturday’s high pressure game against the Vikings. The Papua New Guinea international has 1 try in 26 appearances for the Dragons in the 2017 season. 

 

Form: WLLWWW

The Catalans Dragons have had an indifferent Super 8s campaign, with two consecutive defeats to Warrington and Leigh putting their place in the Betfred Super League under threat. Steve McNamara’s side claimed a vital and dramatic victory in their last game, away to already promoted Hull Kingston Rovers, to set up a ‘winner-takes-all’ game against the Vikings this Saturday. The Dragons have yet to beat Denis Betts’ side in 2017, with a 14-14 draw in France, and a 26-6 defeat in Widnes in June. 

 

Super 8s Results:

Round 1: Catalans Dragons 20-18 London Broncos

Round 2: Warrington Wolves 52-24 Catalans Dragons

Round 3: Catalans Dragons 6-30 Leigh Centurions

Round 4: Halifax RLFC 0-24 Catalans Dragons

Round 5: Catalans Dragons 26-12 Featherstone Rovers

Round 6: Hull Kingston Rovers 19-20 Catalans Dragons

 

Last 8 Meetings with the Vikings:

4th June 2017 - Widnes Vikings 26-6 Catalans Dragons

4th March 2017 - Catalans Dragons 14-14 Widnes Vikings

6th August 2016 - Catalans Dragons 26-10 Widnes Vikings

24th July 2016 - Widnes Vikings 32-4 Catalans Dragons

2nd April 2016 - Catalans Dragons 21-8 Widnes Vikings

12th July 2015 - Widnes Vikings 29-22 Catalans Dragons

6th April 2015 - Catalans Dragons 32-16 Widnes Vikings

30th May 2014 - Widnes Vikings 26-26 Catalans Dragons

 

Widnes Vikings: 3 Wins   Catalans Dragons: 3 Wins   Draws: 2

 

Tickets

Tickets for Saturday's huge game against Catalans Dragons are available to purchase. Click here for full details and information on how to purchase. 

In Profile: Catalans Dragons widnesvikings.co.uk