Steve McNamara looks at the bigger picture and claims the Dragons would be worthy winners of the League Leaders’ Shield ahead of their clash with St Helens
- Super League’s Magic Weekend returns to Newcastle’s St James’ Park
- Table-toppers Catalans Dragons are on second-placed St Helens
- McNamara says his side would be worthy winners of the League Leaders’ Shield
- While Alex Walmsley says the Catalans are where they deserve in the table
Super League’s Magic Weekend returns to Newcastle’s St James’ Park with an intriguing run of matches a year after it was meant to be staged.
The annual two-day event, which began in Cardiff in 2007, was set to return to the northeast in May 2020 until it became one of the victims of the pandemic.
Rescheduled for this year’s spring break weekend, it was then put back again.
Table toppers Catalans Dragons (right) rank second to St. Helens (left on Saturday)
Table toppers Catalans Dragons will face second-placed St. Helens in the second game of the weekend on Saturday.
The Dragons only suffered their second loss of the season at Saints a month ago, but that was with a severely underpowered side and coach Steve McNamara believes they would be worthy winners of the League Leaders’ Shield, even if that’s not the big prize they aim for.
“At the end of the day it’s about winning the grand final, that’s what every team strives for,” said McNamara.
“I think we deserve to be where we are now, based on what we’ve done so far this season.
Steve McNamara believes the Dragons would be worthy winners of the League Leaders’ Shield
“Whether we deserve to be frontrunners or win a grand final will be determined by what we do next. We have probably the hardest game of the season on the biggest opportunity yet.”
St Helens’ England prop Alex Walmsley, who is a Magpies fan, says the Catalans are where they deserve to be in the table.
“They were probably the best team all year round and we’re going to have to be at our best to give ourselves a chance,” he said.
“As a Newcastle fan it’s always a fun place to play and I have great memories of that.
“It’s always a great spectacle for the fans. It will be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it.’
St Helens’ prop Alex Walmsley says the Catalans are where they deserve to be in the table
The game in the top two on Saturday is squeezed by two games that can play a major role in determining the composition of the play-offs. With two rounds of regular competition to go after the weekend, four clubs are still chasing the two remaining spots.
Castleford will try to reinvigorate their play-off bid when they face Salford after coming to an abrupt end to their four-game winning streak at home against Wigan on Monday.
Meanwhile, Leeds, who are in fifth place, will face a Hull side that dropped from fourth to seventh after winning just one of their last seven games.
Wigan and Warrington, who meet in tomorrow’s big game, have already secured a place in the top four.