2018 was a season of two halves for Catalan Dragons. Here is our review of the French side’s campaign.
2018 Club Record
Competition Points: 25
2018 Player Achievements
Most Tries: David Mead (15)
Most Points: Josh Drinkwater (134)
Catalan Dragons 2018 season shows why Rugby League is so unpredictable. After just surviving in 2017, Catalan were hoping to improve. However, after a shaky start to the new campaign, winning one of the first five, they suffered their most humiliating defeat in the clubs history, losing 26-0 at home to Warrington.
The clubs fortunes changed following the signing of Josh Drinkwater and the return of Tony Gigot. Going on a run that was unimaginable, only suffering two losses in their final eleven league rounds (including the rearranged round 4 fixture), including two wins against 2017 Champions Leeds, relegated Widnes and Salford, plus an impressive 44-16 win against Castleford.
The Super 8’s saw a very different Catalan side to the one that secured survival. Following on from the impressive victory against St Helens to secure a Cup Final appearance, the Dragons went on a five match losing streak in the league, losing heavily to Warrington, Wigan (before the Cup final) and Castleford (week after cup final), before two closer games against Saints and Wakefield. However, they did end the season with two impressive wins against, Hull FC and Huddersfield.
In the Cup, the club made history, by being the first non-British club to win the trophy in 117 years, beating Warrington 20-14 in August. They also put on an impressive display against League Leaders St Helens, when they beat Saints 35-16 in the Semi Final, and ended the Red V’s hopes of a historic treble.
Overall then, 2018 will be remembered in Perpignan for years to come, a Cup win that will define a generation, and a platform that could allow the club to develop even further, with the signings of Sam Tomkins and Matty Smith showing the clubs intentions for years to come.
NothingButLeague Player of the Season
NothingButLeague’s Catalan Dragons player of the season is Josh Drinkwater. What the halfback did for the club is nothing short of a miracle. Turning the clubs fortunes around on the field, and bringing attractive footy back to the south of France. With his brilliance is making something from nothing, to controlling the flow of a game, and even finding ways to win. He is someone that will be differcult in replacing, and only time will tell if the Dragons have made the right call about allowing the 26 year old to leave!
2019 GAINS AND LOSSES
Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, 2021), Matt Whitley (Widnes Vikings, 2020), Matty Smith (St Helens, 2020),
Louis Anderson (Retired), Luke Walsh (Retired), Josh Drinkwater, (Released), Vincent Duport (Retired), Fouad Yaha (SU Again), Iain Thornley (Released), Louis Jouffret (Batley Bulldogs)