IT was good to read how one of our main challengers for silverware this year, the Catalan Dragons have been keeping themselves sharp with alternative ’Baywatch-style’ sand and sea sessions in the South of France!

It’s clear the Life’s a Beach approach is working. The form team in the Betfred Super League with May wins over Hull FC, Wakefield, Saints and Wigan, also earned the Dragons coach Steve McNamara the Coach of the Month Award.

Alternative training sessions can be great during the season to keep players’ bodies and minds fresh - and having some fun when things are going well is great for team spirit.

Unfortunately some of my ‘beach’ team sessions weren’t quite as enjoyable or picturesque as Cannes in June ... more gruelling pre-season sessions on Formby sand dunes in January! I’ll never forget we actually got introduced to our two new Samoan signings Maurie Fa’asavalu and Dom Feaunati on the team coach at 7am on the way to one of these session … and let’s just say it was a shock to their system. Great times though...

Back to last weekend - and how great is it to be back at Wembley. A tough semi-final Saints win over Hull FC was sealed with a spectacular 90 metre Regan Grace interception.

The spectacular try came at a much-needed time in the game as a spirited fightback from the Black & Whites put them right back into it after being 20-2 down with just 30 minutes left … getting back to within one score at 21-18.

However, chasing the game a loose Jake Connor pass was scooped up by the Welsh flyer and there was only ever going to be one outcome. A 77th minute Lachlan Coote try after great work by Kevin Naiqama sealed the result.

One talking point from the game was the horrific injury to Hull’s Josh Griffin and the subsequent try that followed from Theo Fages. I unfortunately know the excruciating pain Josh would have felt after rupturing his Achilles after which he threw the ball away.

However, Theo did what we’ve always been coached and played to the whistle. Whatever people’s opinions on his decision to ‘play on’ it’s a split second reaction to pick up a loose ball in a Challenge Cup semi final.

Back to the Betfred Super League games this weekend.

The Catalans ‘Beachboys’ face basement boys Leigh, and on current form I can’t see anything other than a dominant Dragons win of 20 points or more which is 6/4 at Betfred.

Saints travel to Headingley to face mid-table Leeds Rhinos. The home side are massive underachievers this year and I can’t see things improving for them this week. I’ll go for a Saints win by 18 points or more which is available at 9/4 with Betfred.

Other joint-table toppers Wigan face a tough trip to Huddersfield. The Warriors have also been far from convincing this year despite picking up the wins, and think this game is a big test. I’ll go for a Wigan win… just!