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Rugby League Super League: Catalans want to crucify the Saints in Perpignan

No, Catalan rugby fans will not be in front of the television tonight to support France against Italy in the final stage before qualifying for the 2023 World Cup finals. No, these rugby league cousins, passionate for more than a reason, are at exactly the same time (9 pm), in the cauldron of the Gilbert Brutus stadium in Perpignan (Eastern Pyrenees), will be heated by the match of the year: the Rugby League Super League semi-final. .

This atypical European Championship brings together twelve licensed clubs: ten English clubs, one Welsh and the Catalan Dragons, who started in 2006 and are now among the four “aces”. For weeks, Catalan fans have been hoping for this moment of truth. They know it: victory this Friday and the road to Manchester (England), Old Trafford Stadium, the legendary place where, after twenty-seven regular season matches, the highest coronation will be played out.

The match can be played with smoke bombs

“Our supporters were literally seething for several days. More than 1,800 people settled in about fifteen peñas in Perpignan, the villages of Bajo, Saint-Cyprien, the villages of Tête and Canoès. We have waited two years for the hour of revenge,” exclaims Olivier Gondran, president of the ARDC, the regional association of Catalan dragons.

Said Drags fans promise a fiery atmosphere for their English opponents. “There are now new rules for the use of smoke bombs in stadiums. We presented a project approved by the authorities so that the match could take place normally, but with smoke bombs! ” continuation
Olivier Gondran, who promises to “watch over the arrival of a busload of our brave Catalans” with a double guard of honor of 1,500 that will resemble a human forest at the gates of Gilbert-Brutus’s sacred enclave. The Drags plan to create confetti cannons so that players can enter the blood-gold legend and are ready to take on the giants of Albion.

A formidable and fearsome enemy

The Saints, in other words the St Helens club, live up to their small name. They are the most formidable and feared on the pitches of European rugby league. They haven’t missed a single playoff game in the last five years. They won the title four times and became world champions once. This year, due to a summer slump – it can happen – the champions finished third and had a play-off against Warrington.

But in 2021, during the final, they denied the Dragons their first heaven in the last ten minutes of the game, with the Catalans dominating the match. A try and a 12-10 Saints win was enough to anger and make people cry in Catalan cottages for weeks. Today is obviously a new dynamic and an added challenge for Sam Tomkins and Mitchell Pearce, two great players who are retiring this season. If possible, to Manchester in a week.

Source: Le Parisien

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