12 Jul 2019

THE LOWDOWN: CONTINENTAL CLASH

All the information that you need to know, as we host the Catalans Dragons at the John Smith’s Stadium tonight.

The Brief

The Giants welcome the team who currently occupy the final playoff spot to Huddersfield tonight. The Dragons currently sit six points and five places above us in the Betfred Super League table. A win for us will see us widen the gap to bottom of the table London Broncos to four points, after their defeat at Hull FC last night.

The Opposition

The first six rounds of this year’s competition saw the Dragons win a game, followed by a loss. They opened their campaign with a 20-4 defeat at the Castleford Tigers. That was followed by a 27-10 home win against the Giants in Perpignan. They then returned to West Yorkshire but were beaten 22-12 by Wakefield Trinity. Another home victory saw them defeat the Warrington Wolves 23-22 in the South of France. The Salford Red Devils then humiliated Catalans in their own back yard, winning 46-0 in France. Another trip to Yorkshire followed, this time the Dragons won, beating Hull KR 18-16.

The Dragons then broke the trend in week seven. They beat the Leeds Rhinos 26-22 to get their second successive win. They travelled to the North West to face the reigning champions, the Wigan Warriors, and lost 42-0 against the cherry and whites. They then impressively beat current league leaders St Helens 18-10 in Perpignan, one of the Saints’ two defeats this campaign. They lost to Hull FC the following week, 31-30.

Easter weekend was a successful one for Catalans. Firstly, beating the London Broncos 39-6 in the English capital. They then avenged their defeat against the Castleford Tigers from earlier this season, winning 37-16. The following weekend St Helens avenged their loss to the Dragons earlier on in the season, winning 50-14 at the Totally Wicked Stadium. The Dragons then avenged their golden point loss to Hull FC, winning 37-6 in East Yorkshire. The Dragons then beat Doncaster 62-6 to progress in the Challenge Cup.

They then beat the Wigan Warriors 33-16 in Barcelona to once again avenge a loss from earlier on in the season. A 25-18 win against Wakefield Trinity followed at Anfield in the Dacia Magic Weekend. They were then knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Hull FC, losing 51-8.

Form

This could be a key game for both sides tonight, with both only having one win in their last five games.

The weekend after Magic Weekend saw Giants lose in golden point overtime, going down 27-26 to the Castleford Tigers. Meanwhile, the Dragons lost 34-4 in Warrington.

The Dragons were then beaten at home 30-12 by the London Broncos. We were beaten 38-2 by St Helens.

We then lost 38-22 to Saints’ local rivals, the Wigan Warriors. Catalans were beaten 50-10 in Perpignan by Hull FC.

The Leeds Rhinos then beat the Dragons two weeks ago. Winning 31-12. We were beaten 36-10 by Wakefield Trinity.

Last weekend both sides had wins. The Giants winning 36-18 at the Catalans Dragons. Meanwhile, the Dragons beat Wakefield Trinity 44-10 in Perpignan.

Key Players

Sam Tomkins

Tomkins has appeared in 19 of his sides 21 Betfred Super League games so far this year. He’s scored six tries, as well as providing a further eleven for his teammates. He has also added one drop-goal.

Tomkins is also the Dragons’ main goal kicker, kicking 55 goals this season. He has also added 78 kicks in general play, as well as 54 attacking kicks.

Tomkins has also made 812 metres, as well as making 47 tackle busts in his first season in the South of France.

Darnell McIntosh

Fresh off his two tries against the Salford Red Devils, McIntosh could go up against Tomkins on Friday night.

McIntosh has scored ten tries and also added eleven assists this campaign, featuring in 20 of our 22 Betfred Super League games this season.

He has made 2012 metres, an average gain of 7.48 metres per carry. On top of that, he has also made 93 tackle busts for us this campaign. McIntosh has also made 16 clean breaks in the 2019 season.

Key Battle

Jermaine McGillvary v Fouad Yaha

Tonight, we could see Jermaine McGillvary going head to head with returning Dragons winger, Fouad Yaha. McGillvary has featured 16 times for us this season, whilst Yaha has played 13 times for the Dragons, after returning from Rugby Union earlier on in the season.

McGillvary has made 2204 metres so far in 2019, with an average gain of 8.64 metres. Yaha has made 1115 metres, with an average gain of 7.38 metres per tackle.

Yaha has scored 12 tries this season, as well as adding an assist. McGillvary however, has scored 14 tries, contributing to five assists as well. McGillvary has also made 27 clean breaks, compared to Yaha’s 12.

Previous Meetings

The two sides have met just the once this season, in the second round of this season’s Betfred Super League.

We took the lead in the game in the 6th minute. Matt Frawley saw a gap and ran through it to score under the sticks and give us the lead. Izaac Farrell converted the try to give us an early 6-0 lead. The Dragons responded ten minutes later. Brayden Wiliame touching down after a kick through. Sam Tomkins’ conversion levelled the scores at 6-6. Wiliame grabbed his second three minutes later. The Dragons pinched the ball in a one-on-one steal and Wiliame strolled in at the left corner to give them the lead. Tomkins’ conversion extended it to 12-6, before he added a penalty to make it 14-6. Tomkins then turned provider for Catalans’ third try, four minutes before the break. His cut-out pass found Lewis Tierney and he forced his way over. The unsuccessful conversion meant it remained a two try lead.

A penalty three minutes into the second half made it 20-6. A high bomb then resulted in confusion in the Giants defence, the ball eventually bouncing into Tomkins’ hands and he scored, before converting his own try, to make it 26-6 with just over ten minutes left. We grabbed our second try shortly before the end of the game, Oliver Roberts scoring after a kick through by Frawley. The try wasn’t converted. Matty Smith kicked a late drop-goal for Catalans, which meant that the game ended 27-10 to the Catalans Dragons in the South of France.

The Giants are offering all supporters tickets for just £15 to the #ContinentalClash this Friday, with Kids entry reduced to just £1!

Get your Tickets Now!


You might also be interested in

Partners