2021 NRL Jerseys
3 months ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
Andrew Ferguson's review of the 2020 Super League season continues today with a look at Catalans.
The Dragons were a consistently improved outfit in 2020, with their defence quite clearly the most improved. In 2019 they conceded 26.7 points per game yet in 2020 they knocked that average down to 19.9. The fact they reached the finals despite only playing 3 of 13 games in France upon the resumption of the competition only further adds to their improvement.
Catalans reached the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup and also managed to reach the final 4 of the Super League, despite playing less games than every other side. They magnificently dispatched of Leeds in the Semi Final with a commanding 26-14 victory, but were dominated the following week by eventual Premiers St.Helens.
Round 14 v Leeds - The Dragons had struggled against the top 3 sides (Leeds, Wigan and St.Helens) since 2017 (7 wins and 20 losses), so when they belted Leeds 34-6, it gave them plenty of confidence which then saw them decimate Wakefield 40-8 and Hull KR 34-4 in their next two games. Given they had played so few games, every loss had a bigger impact on their win percentage and was also thus more likely to send them packing out of the finals. This three-game-run essentially secured their place in the finals.
Israel Folau. The controversial Australian Rugby Union and former League player, came to the club on essentially a last chance deal to continue his playing career and he had an immediate impact playing at centre. The Dragons won 7 of 11 regular season games when Folau played, and in the 5 games where he scored tries, the Dragons went on to win those matches.
Promotion of new talent. The fact they didn't get to play many games at home and also played less games than every other Super League side, really hampered their ability to bring through any new, young players. By seasons end, the Dragons had 14 players aged 29 years or over, meaning there will be some big roster changes coming across the next 1-2 seasons.
Sam Tomkins had a strong year, one of his best in several seasons as he spent the entire season at fullback. He was at his attacking best either running the ball back or when chiming into the backline in sweeping attacking plays.
The Dragons didn't bring through any new players in 2020 due to the impacts of Covid-19. Arthur Mourgue played 5 of his 7 games for Catalans in 2020. A handy playmaker who looks best suited at fullback, could well be next in line to take over from Sam Tomkins.
The Dragons have been relatively quiet in the offseason, but look to have already started their transition to a younger side. They've picked up forwards Gil Dudson and Mike McMeeken while letting experienced players Antoni Maria and Sam Moa both move to Lezignan, while releasing club Stalwarts Remi Casty and Mickael Simon, as well as David Mead. Lucas Albert will also be moving off to Carcassone.
With the prospects of the team returning to a normal home and away season next year, they have all the foundations in place to build on the great performance of 2020 and become even better, who knows, they may even make it to the Grand Final this time.
|SL R1||Feb 1st||Huddersfield||L||12 - 32||McNamara||Casty||Gilbert Brutus|
|SL R3||Feb 15th||Castleford||W||36 - 18||McNamara||Casty||Gilbert Brutus|
|SL R5||Mar 1st||Hull FC||W||34 - 29||McNamara||Casty||KCOM Stadium|
|SL R6||Mar 7th||Salford||W||30 - 14||McNamara||Casty||Gilbert Brutus|
|SL R4||Aug 2nd||St Helens||L||6 - 34||McNamara||Casty||Emerald Headingley|
|SL R8||Aug 8th||Castleford||W||40 - 14||McNamara||Casty||Emerald Headingley|
|SL R9||Aug 15th||Wakefield||W||58 - 0||McNamara||Casty||Totally Wicked|
|CC 6R||Aug 22nd||Wakefield||W||36 - 24||McNamara||Casty||John Smith's|
|SL R10||Sep 12th||Wigan||L||12 - 28||McNamara||Casty||Gilbert Brutus|
|CC QF||Sep 18th||Salford||L||18 - 22||McNamara||Casty||Totally Wicked|
|SL R13||Sep 25th||Warrington||L||16 - 30||McNamara||Casty||Halliwell Jones|
|SL R14||Sep 30th||Leeds||W||34 - 6||McNamara||Casty||Emerald Headingley|
|SL R12||Oct 4th||Wakefield||W||40 - 8||McNamara||Casty||Gilbert Brutus|
|SL R15||Oct 9th||Hull KR||W||34 - 4||McNamara||Casty||Gilbert Brutus|
|SL R2||Nov 2nd||Salford||L||24 - 42||McNamara||Casty||AJ Bell|
|SL SF||Nov 13th||Leeds||W||26 - 14||McNamara||Casty||Halliwell Jones|
|SL PF||Nov 20th||St Helens||L||2 - 48||McNamara||Casty||Totally Wicked|