Steve McNamara insists Catalan Dragons have consistency

Steve McNamara
Steve McNamara

Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara has dismissed the notion that his side lack consistency as they prepare for their top-three Betfred Super League clash with Warrington.

The French club are smarting from a 51-8 Challenge Cup hammering by Hull - the latest in a number of a heavy defeats so far this year - but remain best placed to challenge the leading pair of St Helens and Warrington.

The Dragons have lost just one of their last six matches in the league to strengthen their play-off bid and go to the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday looking to complete the double over the Wolves following a 23-22 win in Perpignan in March.

"You all keep saying that (we're inconsistent), but we're third in the competition, so I'd say we're more consistent than the eight or nine teams below us," McNamara said. It's probably the magnitude of our losses that's been disappointing, but we've had different reasons for those.

"Momentum does swing in games and reducing the interchange from 10 to eight has made that bigger as well. It can affect scorelines in games. We want to bounce back, but we've actually been in good form apart from last week at Hull. It will be a good test for us this week. It's second versus third. Warrington are progressing well in both competitions and we've had some great tussles with them."

McNamara recalls scrum-half Matty Smith, with Samisoni Langi switching to centre in the absence of the injured Brayden Wiliame, but will have to cope without prop Remi Casty, his inspirational captain, who misses his first league game of the season.

He got a really nasty infection in his face and he's still not recovered," McNamara said. "He got scratched in the face and it got infected. It created a bit of an abscess underneath his cheek and he was in all sorts of mess before the Hull game.

"He nearly missed that game to be honest but he'll be right for next week. He'll be a loss for us but it's part of the game.

"We rotate the leadership in any case. Ben Garcia has done it, Jason Baiteria led us earlier in the cup and we've got Sam Tomkins and Michael McIlorum there, so we've plenty of experience within the group."

Warrington could give a debut to 17-year-old full-back Josh Thewlis, who has been called into Steve Price's 19-man squad along with utility outside back Jack Johnson after losing Jake Mamo and Tom Lineham to suspension.

Thewlis, a product of Oldham amatuer club Waterhead, has been handed squad number 31.

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