MACCA’S A PARTY POOPER
He plans to spoil Simon’s big night
STEVE McNAMARA is determined to ruin Simon Woolford’s full debut tonight.
Woolford, Huddersfield’s new coach, has been working wonders behind the scenes while his visa from Australia was held up.
Daily and lengthy Skype sessions with his new coaching staff have helped turn the club’s fortunes around.
Four wins on the trot – including one at Salford just hours after he flew in on Friday – have got the club bouncing.
But McNamara, the Catalans coach, wants to spoil the party when Woolford finally makes his home bow in tonight’s Challenge Cup quarter-final.
The French club are also enjoying a rare good run and McNamara said: “The group is in a good place.
“We are winning and improving and now we are looking forward to a different challenge in the Challenge Cup.
“We have still got a lot more improvement in us, but while we have got this mentality, it will push us a long way.”
Catalans have won five of their last six games to lift them off the bottom, up to 10th, and to within a point of the top eight.
Woolford, who watched on as assistant Chris Thorman ran things in the 24-18 win over Salford, will take full charge tonight.
He said: “The Challenge Cup is a massive deal and before I got here I understood all about the history.
“I have known guys who have played in England and coached over here, so I understand it is a big deal.
“It is an important game and we want to get into the semifinals and give ourselves every chance of getting to the final.
“In the last month, there has been a real shift in the players’ attitudes and, fortunately, that is showing in the results. We are at home, too, so there is no reason why we can’t put in another good performance.”
The Challenge Cup semifinals will be played as a doubleheader at Bolton’s Macron Stadium on Sunday, August 5. WIGAN prop Ryan Sutton will go to the NRL when his Warriors contract expires at the end of the season.
Sutton, who is likely to join Canberra, said: “It was a tough decision to leave my home town club but I’ve always wanted to try my hand in the NRL.”
HOME AT LAST: Simon Woolford COMING FOR YOU: Steve McNamara £13.49 £3.49