THE annual trip to Catalan Dragons is one we enjoy.
Yes, you always know when you play there that you’re going to be faced with a massive physical challenge and, with the form the Dragons have shown at home this season, there’s every likelihood it’s going to be tougher than ever.
But I still can’t recall feeling more excited about the trip to the South of France than I am this year.
And I know that’s a view shared by everyone in the squad.
One of the reasons for that is obviously down to the way we’ve started this season. Two points clear at the top of the Super League XVII table as we reach the halfway stage of the season isn’t that bad, is it?
As a result, we really relish our top-of-the-table clashes, and that’s what we can look forward to this weekend.
Like ourselves, the Dragons have made an excellent start to the year and have high hopes of finishing top at the end of the regular season and then having a real crack at the Super League Grand Final.
That’s why tomorrow’s game is so exciting prospect, and why we’ve also left nothing to chance as a club.
Last year when we played in Perpignan, we set off on the Friday morning and had limited preparation time when we got there. We then lost the game by a solitary point.
But this time around, we set off yesterday, so we could spend a bit more time preparing and acclimatising.
Hopefully, this will make all the difference in the world.
Another benefit of having an extra day out there means we have more time together as a group, which is something we all enjoy.
I have to say the team spirit we’ve got at the Giants is absolutely fantastic, and I know we’ll really enjoy this trip, both on and off the field.
And there’s no question this spirit is reflected when we get out there on the competitive field.
You can see how much the players are prepared to work for each other, dig in and do everything they possibly can for the teammate by their side.
This is obviously something that can’t be coached.
It’s down to the close-knit nature of what has become a very special group of players, who are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the results we all so desperately strive to achieve.
In the closest of games – which is what we could get tomorrow night – this can make all the difference in the world.