Steve McNamara, the Catalans Dragons’ coach, has said that the pressure is getting to his players after they just managed a 20-19 win over Hull KR to boost their survival hopes.
McNamara was brought to the team too late to try and stop their slide into the Qualifiers but he has now overseen three successive wins and if they win against Widnes next Saturday the team will be assured of a place in the Super League next year.
However, the team weren’t impressive against the understrength but already promoted Hull KR and McNamara put this down to pressure.
“Nearly every game in the competition has been like that,” he said. “We had to fight and scrap and find a way to win under very tough circumstances. For Hull KR, the pressure was off and you could see that from the way they played, they had the freedom to express themselves. We played with anxiety and pressure hanging over us.”
He went on to say that he is sure that next weekend’s game will be a fight but was cautiously optimistic about the team’s prospects.
In their last game the team were saved with two tries in the last ten minutes from Ian Thornley and Brayden Williame, both coverted by Luke Walsh. McNamara insisted that he was confident that his team could come from behind to win and said that he was pleased with the first half as they “were solid and defended strongly”.
However, he had some criticism for of the system saying that it “is quite clearly not a good thing for clubs. I understand the concept and now I’m involved and very close to it, it makes it really difficult to get planned and organised.”