Why Wigan Warriors are braced for 'dangerous' Catalans Dragons

A squad of star individuals, a pressure-free approach – and a rocket from an irate owner – has made Catalans dangerous opponents.
George Williams is set to face pal Lewis TierneyGeorge Williams is set to face pal Lewis Tierney
George Williams is set to face pal Lewis Tierney

That’s the message Adrian Lam has tried to drill home this week as Wigan prepare for tonight’s encounter.

The Warriors want the two points to tighten their grip on second spot.

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Catalans, though, effectively tumbled out of the top-five race with shock home losses to lowly Hull KR and London in their last two matches.

Those losses prompted club chairman Bernard Guasch to read his star-studded squad the riot-act.

While the French club’s campaign is over, Lam doesn’t expect the Dragons to throw in the towel when they arrive at the DW Stadium.

And he has told his players they need to turn up with the right attitude – after admitting they looked a “a bit off their guard” in training because of a short turnaround since their game last Sunday.

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“Catalans have always been a team of great individuals, they’re probably disappointed with their performances recently, but with so many quality players in their squad they can get up for a game,” he said.

“I don’t think they can make the semis, but I think they have a team good enough to lift on any weekend, so we’re expecting them to be at their best.

“The last time we had at were close to perfect (in a 42-0 win).

“But then when we played at Barcelona, we were going all right and they managed to roll us over pretty easily, so we need to take our opportunities.”

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Stand-off George Williams says the fact the Dragons can’t reach the play-offs spots may make them tough to contain.

“Because they’ve nothing to lose, have they?” he said. “I’m not sure what game plan they’ll bring, we’re just remembering the Nou Camp – we got blown away when we were a bit off.”

Catalans boss Guasch went public this week and took aim at his players for their collapse, days after footage of an animated dressing room rant appeared on social media.

“I’m mates with Lewis (Tierney) and he told me the owner comes in and tells them what he thinks, they got a rollicking,” said Williams.

“So we’re preparing for the best of Catalans.”

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Even with victory, Wigan may need to beat Castleford next week to secure second spot ahead of the play-offs.

Lam added: “We’ve used certain words at certain stages on the season, and ‘confidence’ and ‘belief’ are the words we’re really pressing right now.

“They believe in each other and, if we get into tight matches, I have confidence in them getting the result.”