Super League Match Preview: Catalan Dragons vs London Broncos
Date: Saturday 30th August
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Kick-off: 5pm (BST)
Catalan Squad: Escaré, Pomeroy, Oldfield, Bosc, Elima, Henderson, Taia, Anderson, Mounis, Maria, Pelissier, Whitehead, Millard, Bousquet, Paea, Baitieri, Duport, Garcia, Williams
London Squad: Atkins, Cook, Dixon, Dollapi, Drinkwater, Farrar, Foster, Griffin, Keyes, Krasniqi, Mataitonga, McMeeken, Minns, Moore, Slyney, Thomas, Vea, Wallace, Woodburn-Hall
Catalan Dragons will be desperately looking to cement their play-off spot on Saturday when they welcome relegated London Broncos to the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
A month ago the Dragons seemed certain to pick up the necessary points to secure 7th place, but 4 losses in their last 5 matches means the French side are hanging on in need for a result on Saturday. Catalan are 7th on 23 points, level with Widnes who have an inferior score difference. Hull KR have turned their season around since Chris Chester took over and are hoping to steal a play-off spot with 3 games to go, currently sitting in 9th with 21 points. Salford and Wakefield also still have an outside chance of making the top 8.
A win for the Dragons would do anything but ensure they qualify for the play-offs and if there’s one team head coach Laurent Frayssinous would choose to play it would be the relegated Broncos. However, London have renewed optimism after their first win of the season came 2 weeks ago when they came from behind to grab a heroic 40-36 win over an albeit weakened Leeds Rhinos side. London travel to the south of France looking for a consecutive win and are hoping to finish the campaign with a flourish.
Hull FC bound Leon Pryce misses out for the Dragons, after Laurent Frayssinous is seeking to only select players who are in his plans for 2015. Forward Jeff Lima also drops out of the squad as Lopini Paea and Antoni Maria are recalled.
London also make two changes from the side that beat Leeds. Alex Foster and half back James Woodburn-Hall replace Toby Everett and Denny Solomona.
The sides have already met on three occasions this season, with Catalan at times looking likely to be London’s first scalp of the season. The Dragons narrowly edged it 28-22 when the sides met in the reverse fixture at the Hive, with an even closer contest at the Magic Weekend seeing Catalan win 24-22. The French side were more emphatic in the Challenge Cup tie, defeating the Broncos 40-24. League positioning and Catalan’s home advantage means the Dragons go into the game as hot favourites.
Catalan by 18.
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