Warrington hooker Daryl Clark admits that their forward pack have held the key to success so far in 2019.
Steve Price’s side currently sit second in the Betfred Super League, four points adrift of leaders St Helens after they suffered a shock defeat to London on Sunday.
Victory over Catalans on Saturday was Warrington’s seventh in their last eight matches. Having trailed 4-0 in the early stages, the Wolves scored five unanswered tries to close the gap at the top.
Clark admitted that having his forwards win the battle down the middle had been instrumental as they comfortably defeated the third-placed Dragons, with Mike Cooper and Sitaleki Akauola producing stand-out displays.
Following the game, Clark said: “It always is [a tough contest]. They’re a big physical side and we’ve played them a few times already.
“Our forwards are running well at the minute and keeping people on the floor and winning play the balls. They’ve got over the top of us and have been big and physical in the middle, so i thought our pack matched up and got over them.
“They are a big side and we have a few bumps and bruises, but we dug in for a full 80 minute performance.”
One particularly pleasing aspect for the Wire on Saturday was the performance of 17-year-old Super League debutant Josh Thewlis.
The youngster, who has impressed this season for the club’s Academy side, started at full-back in place of the suspended Jake Mamo and lasted 75 minutes before being replaced to a standing ovation.
“He went pretty well,” said Clark. “It’s a big step up from U19s but he did what he needed to do; it was good to see a young lad getting a go.
“To come off after 75 minutes to play against a big physical side like Catalans is good going for a 17-year-old, so it was a good effort from him.”
Next up for Warrington this weekend is a second clash with Hull KR in the space of three weeks, with the Robins now managed by former Wolves boss Tony Smith.
Despite coming up against the coach who led them to three Challenge Cup’s, two League Leaders Shield’s and three Grand Final appearances, Clark says he is confident of making it an unhappy reunion for their Australian former coach.
“There’s not much he can change in a week I would have thought,” Clark admitted. “He’s a good coach going up against his old club and hopefully we can get a fully fit side out and go there and do the job.”