A wasted opportunity: Catalans Dragons frustrated by “failure of a season”

·2-min read
Catalans Dragons Credit: PA Images
Catalans Dragons Credit: PA Images

Catalans Dragons prop Gil Dudson believes the French side will be judged on a failed season after crashing out to Leeds in the first week of the playoffs.

Dudson was sent off for a headbutt in his final game for the club. Team-mate Mitchell Pearce was sin-binned twice and Michael McIlorum also yellow carded in an ill-tempered game in Perpignan.

“I don’t think we have been brilliant at all this year,” Dudson told the Love Rugby League podcast.

“A new half-back pairing, serious injuries, the team has been up and down and the consistency hasn’t been there. I don’t know where the team goes now moving forward.

“There are a lot of players moving on and some good young French lads champing at the bit so it will be interesting to see how they line up next year.”

Expectations raised for Catalans Dragons

Dudson believes that reaching the Grand Final last year and coming within minutes of upsetting champions St Helens, had perhaps raised expectations of the Dragons beyond realistic levels.

“I felt that finishing top four and a good play-off and Cup run would be success given the team were in the Million Pound Game a few years ago.

“To then all of a sudden think you have earned the right to be in the Grand Final every year is a very big step to take. We had massive success last season and were playing brilliantly but we have had to remould our whole team and this year just has not come off.

“We put pressure on ourselves and laid our stall out early as a group that it was Grand Final or bust and we haven’t even made the semi finals. So judging it on that it is a failure of a season, and a wasted opportunity personally.”

Dudson and fellow Dragons prop Sam Kasiano will join Warrington next season. Dudson received a three-match ban for the Rhinos incident which will either impact his World Cup involvement with Wales or the start of next season with the Wolves.

PODCAST: Gil Dudson on Catalans red mist, winning Wigan, World Cup fears and reigniting Warrington

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