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MATCH PREVIEW | Catalans Dragons vs Hull KR

Both sides are in desperate need of the two points in this one for different reasons. Hull KR need them to avoid relegation, Catalans need them to close the gap up to that elusive 5th play-off spot. Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s game.

 

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Catalans

The Dragons will want to avoid their third successive defeat, following losses to Leeds and then London. Their last win was at the start of the month, a 30-10 win against Warrington at home, a game that ended in chaos and two bans for the club.

Catalans will need to find some form if they are to make the play-offs and excel in them. Now is the time to start putting in some good performances if they want a sniff at Old Trafford.

Hull KR

Rovers will also want to avoid losing three games on the bounce. After beating Castleford 27-26, they then went on to lose to Wigan and Wakefield.

Hull KR sit in 11th place, purely on points difference. They are desperate for two points to give them a chance of safety.

 

SQUAD NEWS

Catalans

Head coach Steve McNamara has made just one change to his side.

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He welcomes back Michael McIlorum after he served a two-match ban.

Sam Tomkins serves his third and final match of his ban, meaning he won’t face his brother Joel.

Catalans’ 19-man squad: Gigot, Mead, Wiliame, Tierney, Langi, McIlorum, Edwards, Bird, Bousquet, Simon, Jullien, Whitley, Goudemand, Belmas, Albert, Maria, Baitieri, Romano, Kasiano.

Hull KR

Hull KR are without key players Craig Hall and Mitch Garbutt. Neither player has travelled to France due to injury.

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Will Dagger and Mikey Lewis are their replacements in the squad. Lewis only debuted three weeks ago against Wigan.

Hull KR’s 19-man squad: Addy, Atkin, Crooks, Dagger, Drinkwater, Hadley, Harrison, Hauraki, Keinhorst, Lewis, Linnett, Litten, McGuire, Masoe, Mulhern, Murray, Shaw, Tomkins, Trout.

 

HEAD TO HEAD

These two sides have only met once so far in 2019 in a close-knit encounter. Catalans ended up 18-16 victors at KCOM Craven Park back in March, with the boots of Sam Tomkins being the difference.

In 2018, the two sides met twice early on in the season. Shaun Lunt made his 300th appearance with a 23-4 Hull KR win in the third week of the season and then just 2 rounds later, the Dragons beat Rovers in France in March with a 18-16 points scoreline again.

 

KEY BATTLE

David Mead (Catalans) v Jimmy Keinhorst (Hull KR)

A battle of the centres could be the key battle, with both players improving week on week in their respective sides.

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David Mead has gone completely under the radar with the Dragons and does a lot of the unseen work. He has been impressive in recent weeks and looks like one of those players who can make something from nothing.

Jimmy Keinhorst is another key addition for Rovers, who is strong in both attack and defense. It was a shock when Leeds let him go, considering he was one of their most consistent players at the time.

 

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Saturday 31st August
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Kick-off: 5pm BST
Referee: Ben Thaler

 

WHO WILL WIN?

Neither side are in particularly impressive form but with the squads named, Catalans look to be the stronger side. Travelling to the south of France is never an easy task and Rovers have not won there for many years. Catalans by 16.

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