'Wigan Warriors have great chance of winning Super League title,' says Catalans boss Steve McNamara

Oliver Gildart and Zak Hardaker congratulate Harry Smith after his debut try
Oliver Gildart and Zak Hardaker congratulate Harry Smith after his debut try

Steve McNamara tipped Wigan for a Grand Final assault after seeing them inflict a 46-12 win on his Catalans side.

Bevan French led the Warriors' charge with a sparkling hat-trick as they tightened their grip on second spot.

And ex-England boss McNamara said: "I feel they're up there, I'll be honest with you, I think they've got a great chance of winning the competition.

"Credit to them, they're a well-balanced team, very fast, young, fit with some great experience, too.

"They're going to be challenging, without doubt, for me - they're one of the favourites to win the competition."

Catalans beat Wigan 33-16 in their last outing - in front of 31,555 fans at Barcelona's Camp Nou - but since then, Adrian Lam's side have lost just one of 12 matches.

"For us, looking back, Barcelona was that big an event, that was our Wembley. and since then we've not fully recovered," said McNamara, whose side dropped out of the play-offs spots during a disappointing August.

"We clung on for Magic and after that it's been a struggle. For Wigan it's been a springboard."

The Dragons made a strong start against the Warriors but two Bevan French tries helped make it 14-0 at the break.

"I feel different after this game. I hate the scoreboard and the fact we lost, but I feel differently to some of our recent games, because we had 17 players who put their bodies on the line," added McNamara.

"We're just not good enough as a team but I can hack that when I see that effort. We've been embarrassed by our performances in our last three games in particularly, but we had 17 players who were committed to giving their all.

"Wigan were just too fast and too hot - Bevan French had a field day."