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OPPOSITION CORNER: Injured Dragons still offer significant threat
CATALAN Dragons have hit into some form at the right time.
For a team who have been ‘there or thereabouts’ in the silverware chase for the past few seasons, they have had a disappointing year and are looking to finish with a bang.
Stade Gilbert Brutus has not been the fortress of the past.
Five losses at home, although one of them came against Hull KR ‘on the road’ in Toulouse, is unusual but, like most teams, they have suffered injury issues.
Louis Anderson, the two-times Challenge Cup winner with Warrington, has been one casualty, ruled out since May with a torn Achilles’ tendon.
They were missing Jason Baitieri, Zeb Taia, Michael Simon and Daryl Millard on Friday but showed their recent improvement in a hard-fought 20-12 loss at champions Leeds.
Catalan were ahead at the 65th-minute mark, while their previous outing was a 22-8 home success against Wigan a week after a last-gasp 23-22 triumph at Bradford Bulls.
Prior to the victory at Odsal, there had been defeats to St Helens (home), Salford (away) and Hull (home).
The return to form, perhaps not a coincidence, marked Brent Webb’s comeback after what had been initially feared as a season-ending back injury.
Full back Webb is an important cog in their machine, the former New Zealand international adding an extra dimension in attack.
And back rower Elliott Whitehead is now finding his feet following his move from Bradford in June – a recruit who has helped to soften the blow of losing Anderson’s services in the team’s left channel.
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