Catalans host Hull FC in Perpignan as both sides look to record back to back successes in the Betfred Super League. Here’s everything you need to know.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Catalans have had a bizarre season so far. The Dragons have been embarrassed 46-0 at home against Salford and a 42-0 defeat at Wigan. However, Steve McNamara’s side are the only team to have beaten St Helens and Warrington in 2019.
Last weekend, Catalans hosted St Helens in poor conditions, as they ran out 18-10 winners to end the Saints 100% start to the season. The Dragons are currently sixth in the table.
Hull bounced back last week from their hammering to Warrington the week previous with a 23-16 away win at Salford. The Black and Whites sit fifth in the table, with four of their five wins coming away from the KCOM Stadium.
Half-back Matty Smith is missing after suffering an injury last week against his former side. Arthur Romano also misses out.
The Dragons welcome back fullback David Mead and second rower Ben Garcia. Both have been out of the side for seven weeks. These returning players will help to strengthen McNamara’s side who are already missing Kenny Edwards, Jodie Broughton and Michael McIlourum just to name a few.
Catalans 19-man squad: Gigot, Mead, Wiliame, Tierney, Langi, Casty, Moa, Garcia, Bird, Bousquet, Jullien, Whitley, Da Costa, Goudemand, Albert, Baitieri, Yaha, Kasiano, Tomkins.
England international Jake Connor makes a welcome return to the Hull side. Connor suffered a leg injury during the victory away at Huddersfield. Fullback Connor Wynne retains his spot as Jamie Shaul is missing for the third consecutive week.
Jack Brown and Levy Nzoungou are both named in the squad for the first time this season. If either make an appearance, it would be a debut for the club.
Hull are also without vice captain Scott Taylor due to a calf injury. Andre Savelio and Mickey Paea are suspensed, however Savelio picked up an injury last week at Salford.
Hull FC 19-man squad: Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Kelly, Sneyd, Houghton, Hadley, Minichello, Westerman, Connor, Thompson, Manu, Lane, Logan, Nzoungou, Washbrook, Ellis, Wynne, Brown.
HEAD TO HEAD
Hull have a strong record against Catalans, however the majority of this is due to the home form. The last two trips to France, Hull have lost. Catalans’ poor run came to an end, thanks to a last minute Tony Gigot drop goal in a 25-24 victory. Josh Drinkwater starred that day on debut, with the former Dragon now at Hull’s cross city rivals, Hull KR.
The last time Hull won in Perpignan was at the start of the 2016 season. Lee Radford’s side ran out 38-10 winners in a successful season. Among the try scorers that day was Fetuli Talanoa, who retired on his 13-year career during the week.
Fouad Yaha (Catalans Dragons) v Bureta Faraimo (Hull FC)
Faraimo will need to defend well against a strong Fouad Yaha. Yaha has been in good form, scoring last week against St Helens and also crossing four times against Leeds. On the left side, he looks a big danger especially as historically Hull have defended weakly down their right side.
It isn’t clear who will occupy which side, but Faraimo will probably play as the right winger. Similar to Yaha, both players have size on their side and make it difficult for defenders to stop them. Faraimo could have a big say, especially as Hull are likely to have three key play makers in their side.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 13 April
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Kick-off: 5:00PM (UK)
Referee: Chris Kendall
WHO WILL WIN?
It is always difficult for a side to go to the south of France and win as we have seen already this season, however with the return of Connor and strong away form, I think Hull will have a big chance. It is far from a certainty and also depends which Catalans side turn up, as we have seen they can beat any side, however they have been easily beaten. An away win is what I expect.