Catalans Dragons boss Steve McNamara wants play-off call to benefit all clubs


Steve McNamara
Steve McNamara (centre) led Catalans to 2018 Challenge Cup success

Super League’s executive will make the right decision for the competition as a whole with regard to the end-of-season play-offs, believes Catalans Dragons boss Steve McNamara.

There has been talk of an early finish to the campaign and a restructure of the play-offs, with games abandoned, amid the on-going Covid-19 issue.

The initial plan post-restart was top-four semis leading to a Grand Final.

“I don’t know what will happen,” the former England coach said.

“What I’d like to think will happen is that the Super League exec will make the right decisions for the whole of the game and not ones based around one or two teams’ preferences.

“It’s got to be made with all the information put into the equation and then we rely on the people who run our game to make the right decision.

“If they genuinely believe it’s the right decision to continue, we continue, if they genuinely believe the right decision is to change the format, then we go with that as well.

“It shouldn’t be influenced by one or two clubs’ desires.”

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf publicly stated his support for the regular season to be curtailed and a play-off series “with integrity” introduced, while Wakefield counterpart Chris Chester argued the season should be brought to a natural conclusion.

Under the system agreed post-restart, the league table was switched from points gained to win percentage to allow for teams not completing all their fixtures.

The caveat for that was teams needed to complete a minimum of 15 games to be eligible for a play-off spot, something that would hamper Catalans, who have played 12 games because of their own and other clubs’ positive Covid-19 tests.

However, the Dragons have certainly committed to the sport since coronavirus struck, travelling to England on a weekly basis to ensure games were played before the French government allowed sporting events to resume.

They are fourth in the table, with a 66.67% record from their games, before Monday’s game at Salford.

“We’ll do whatever it takes, we’ve said that right from the start,” he said. “Quite clearly, we’re one of the teams in with a chance of winning the Grand Final.

“We’ve got to start again on Monday and, whichever way the format goes, we will give ourselves a great chance of competing this year.

“It’s exciting. I think anybody who sat and watched the game on Friday night saw Saints and Wigan raise the standard and show that the play-offs are around the corner.

“It’s in touching distance and, if you’re going to compete and play well, that’s the level you’ve got to get to.”



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