Daryl Powell on how Warrington can stop Jai Field and Bevan French

Drew Darbyshire
Daryl Powell Warrington Wolves

Warrington boss Daryl Powell is the latest coach with the tough task of coming up with a gameplan to keep Wigan danger men Jai Field and Bevan French quiet.

In-form Wigan full-back Field is running away with it at the top of the Steve Prescott Man of Steel leaderboard, having scored 14 tries in 10 rounds of Super League so far.

And fellow speedster French has added a double threat to opposition teams since he made his return to action a month ago.

The Australian duo are in red-hot form for Matt Peet’s side, and Warrington will have to keep them pretty quiet if they are to come away with the win when the two sides meet on Friday night.

When asked how do Warrington stop Field and French by Love Rugby League, Powell replied: “Just looking at Field, he had a tough year last year but everything has sort of bounced his way.

“He has got a great instinct and he gets on the end of things so you have to defend really well against him.

“You’ve got to recognise the threats. They are doing things with the ball that are dangerous and on the end of it when you’ve got speed, that’s challenging.

“We know what we’ve got to do, they are going to put us under a fair bit of pressure but for us it is about making sure we complete high with the ball and you negate those opportunities that you give Wigan in good attacking positions. I thought we did that well last week.”

French threat

Bevan French Wigan Warriors SWpix
Bevan French in action for Wigan | Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

Powell continued: “There’s a threat there, French playing on the wing, he comes in field. There are two players there with special footwork and speed so they are a challenge.

“Defensively, you have to be at your very best and your decision making has to be exceptional. In and around them, there is a really good team thats dangerous. The pack is young, big and aggressive and they are just a good team.

“I think they are a real challenge for everybody. For us, we need to defend exceptionally well and build on our attack and keep improving in all areas.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we handle this game. The best challenges are the biggest ones and it is a step up for us so we are looking forward.”

Daryl Powell backs his own Warrington speed demons

Josh Thewlis Warrington Wolves SWpix
Josh Thewlis scored a hat-trick for Warrington last week | Photo: Will Palmer/SWpix

Warrington have their own speed demons though. Young full-back Josh Thewlis has been in sensational form in recent weeks and winger Matty Ashton always poses a threat with his electric pace.

Powell sees Thewlis’ long-term future in the number one role, and has backed him to thrive on the big stage against rivals Wigan.

“Josh at the back is central to what you do as a full-back and the challenge for him is to outplay Jai Field so no pressure!” Powell smiled.

“He has had a couple of really outstanding performances at full-back. For him, it is just about being consistent.

“He is one of those kids who doesn’t really worry about what is front of him. He just cracks on, he is a brave and unassuming young fella who plays as well as he does because of that.

“Matty Ashton has got a bit of toe on him as well so there is some speed in the team.”

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