APART from the result (losing 27-20), did everyone have a good trip to France for the Catalan Dragons game?
When you don’t get the two League points, it’s always a much longer trip!
That obviously takes the gloss off everything.
Having said that, it’s always good to spend some time together as a group.
But we did come away from the ground on Saturday night feeling bitterly disappointed, because we did put ourselves in a position to win the game.
In the first half, I thought they were a bit better than us in some areas and created a few more opportunities.
But in the second half, there were times when we were the better team. Unfortunately, we didn’t control a few things just a little bit better and, ultimately, that cost us.
At the same time, you should always give credit to the opposition when they beat you, and there’s no doubt Catalan a good team.
The Dragons are unbeaten at home so far in Super League. Can you see them remaining unbeaten all season in Perpignan?
They are clearly very, very hard to beat at home, but I think they can be beaten.
But when the weather is a bit better it’s probably easier for sides flying in there to be competitive, so I can see them possibly losing one game.
The key for them – like it is for a lot of teams – is keeping all their good players fit, and if they do that then they’re always going to be one of tougher teams in the competition.
Were some of the tries you conceded the most disappointing aspect of the Catalan defeat?
Yes, we did let in a couple of uncharacteristic tries.
That was very disappointing, because we’ve been defending really well this year.
When it comes to conceding tries, sometimes it’s the reward for some good attack against you and at other times it’s down to not concentrating or sticking to your principles as well as you can. That happened a couple of times at the weekend.
When we do certain things really well we’re obviously hard to break down. That’s why we’ve got the best defence in the competition at this stage of the year.
But when we don’t do things well we become a bit more vulnerable, which was the case against the Dragons.
So you’ll obviously be wanting to put that right against London Broncos in the Challenge Cup on Sunday, won’t you?
Without a doubt.
They may be struggling in Super League this season, but they’ve still got some very good players.
When we had to battle so hard to beat them in London earlier in the year (30-16 in late February) we said they’d definitely beat some teams, particularly at home. That’s proved the case.
And they’ve been very competitive in the other games at The Stoop.
London may have struggled a bit on the road, but that’s not something we’ve spoken about this week. We’re just focusing on facing a Broncos side who will be playing to their full potential.
But even if they are in form, you’ll still be the favourites to win on Sunday. Does being made such red-hot favourites potentially present problems?
You must be favourites for a reason, and we’d rather be favourites than given little chance of making progress!
The key this weekend is just making sure we play well and focus on doing the little things right.
We certainly won’t worry if we’re the favourites or not.
We’ve been favourites plenty of times in the past and won, and we’ve also been favourites before and lost.
All we know is that if we play to our potential we’ll put ourselves in a good position to win the game.
You’ve obviously got a big couple of weeks coming up, with the home Super League top-of-the-table clash against Wigan Warriors next Friday. Could that be a distraction on Sunday?
I can’t imagine it’ll be a distraction at all, because we all know how big the potential prize is for winning this weekend.
On Sunday, it’s sudden death, with the losers going out and the winners moving to within 80 minutes of a Wembley final – the dream tie.
So I can’t imagine any of us will be too concerned about Wigan when we take to the field on Sunday, and I can’t see Wigan being too concerned about us as they’ve got St Helens in the Cup on Saturday!
We’ve both got massive games this weekend, and only after that will we begin to think about next Friday.