Written by John Davidson
Photo by Catalan Dragons
Steve McNamara admits he can’t explain why the Catalans Dragons collapsed so badly against Leeds at Headingley on Friday night.
Catalans were in the contest early in the second half, behind by just eight points when Brad Singleton was red-carded.
But despite having an extra man for 30 minutes, the Dragons conceded 32 points and were eventually smashed 48-8.
With a semi-final place to play for, Catalans amazingly showed little fight or spirit.
McNamara says he has “no idea” why the Dragons keep collapsing.
“It’s hugely disappointing,” he admitted.
“The game was there. They had a man sent off, it looked we had a man sent off.
“We never competed after that point. Credit to Leeds, they were really good tonight. But that last 25 minutes there was… really tough for everybody involved.
“I have no idea [why we collapsed], its happened to us on numerous occasions. We lost our connection, we lost our combinations in attack or defence.
“We were still a chance at eight points behind. They get a man sent off.
“We had surges in that game where we looked pretty physical, but we got cut open by tries by kicks. And once the scoreboard went against us we stopped.
“I can’t explain it right now.”
Catalans players could be seen arguing with each other on the field when things started to go wrong.
“When it goes against us we separate from each other and that’s tough to take,” McNamara said.
“[Players arguing on the field] that’s what I was talking about there.”
McNamara described the Dragons’ inconsistency as the club’s “Achilles heel”.
“It’s happened to us a few times this season,” he said.
“We’re still there in the fight in terms of the league table, but if you’re going to be consistent and go on and win a grand final and win a competition, or even compete, you’re going to have to win week-in-week-out in consecutive weeks, on consecutive weekends and perform every weekend.
“We haven’t managed to be able to do that. We’ve had periods where we’ve maybe gone two or three games there, but we keep coming up with this [poor] games every so often.
“And it’s our Achilles here right now, it’s quite clear to see.”