Steve McNamara insists Catalans can mount title challenge after Covid-19 chaos

Steve McNamara insists Catalans are doing everything possible to fulfil their remaining fixtures and mount a Grand Final charge – and says any suggestions otherwise are “ridiculous”.

The French club are now four matches behind some teams after a series of postponements and cancellations due to Covid-19. They are still fourth in the table under Super League’s 2020 win percentage system – but need to play at least three more games to be eligible for the play-offs.

Catalans have had nine positive cases in their camp over the last week and haven’t trained for a week – but are desperate to face Salford on Monday. McNamara said: “We’re a rugby team that wants to play matches and we will do whatever we are instructed to by the RFL.

Catalans have suffered a series of postponements and cancellations due to Covid-19

“We’ve done exactly what we’ve been told for the last three games and we weren’t allowed to play, it’s as simple as that.

“I’ve read comments that Catalans are dodging matches, which is ridiculous. With the way win percentage works, anybody with any kind of maths knowledges will know that if we slip up and lose now, our percentage will drop more dramatically because we’ve played fewer games.

“It’s been really frustrating for everybody involved, and for us to miss two homes games is catastrophic financially.  We’d have certainly been able to have 5,000 at the first game and the club has been trying to claw back as much as it can from the additional expense this season.”

The Dragons had two games at their Perpignan base called off last week

Super League clubs are currently discussing the possibility of ending the regular season earlier than planned, and extending the play-offs to more than four clubs as matches continue to be postponed.

No decision has yet been made and McNamara says the Dragons will back whatever the outcome – but insist self-interest must not come into it.

He added: “We will do whatever Super League and the RFL tell us to do and will stand by their decision. What we don’t want is to get told what to do by certain clubs that have a vested interest in the situation.

“It can’t be based around what’s good for one or two clubs – and I include ourselves in that. Clubs should have an input but the decision should be made by the relevant people, and if we get told that’s genuinely the best thing for the competition then we will support that.

“There’s no excuses from us as a club – we just want to get out there and try and win the competition. We are without doubt one of the teams fighting to win the Grand Final – we’ve won our last three matches, were finding our feet and are ready to go. It’s been frustrating but none of it will distract from our goal.”

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