Last Tackle: What’s going on with Catalans and Warrington?

For the second successive round, one had to endure what can only be described as incessant gamesmanship from Catalans Dragons.

Unlike on Monday at home to Hull, it didn’t work for them today at Widnes.

Constant spoiling at the play the ball, delaying tactics before scrums and just general foul play saw them lose four players to yellow cards for separate 10 minute spells.

Despite taking the lead, they never looked like getting close to beating a team that went into the weekend bottom of the league.

Just what is going on with the Dragons?

Rather than dazzling Super League with Gallic flair, they look like a team devoid of identity, and the club as a whole look unsure as to where they go from here.

On paper, they should be doing far better than they are – despite an injury list that is probably only around mid-table when you compare to what some others are going through.

The departure of Laurent Frayssinous gives them an opportunity to inject some fresh life into the club, and they desperately need it.

Warrington have conceded 122 points in three games in 10 days against Leeds, Salford and Huddersfield.

They’re missing a couple of players – who isn’t – but that is not good reading for Tony Smith and his side.

This isn’t a blip either. It took them seven games to even get off the mark this season.

The fans seem to be turning on Smith, having in the main part already turned on big money close season signing Kevin Brown, who is more and more looking like a panic buy after the departure of Chris Sandow.

There’s no doubting that Brown is a quality player, though the first quarter of the season aside, 2016 was probably his poorest year for half a decade.

Perhaps in hindsight, the Wolves would have been better off placing more faith in Declan Patton, especially with the ageing Kurt Gidley already in the squad.

A mischievous post stating that Smith had resigned was dismissed last week, and it seems an unlikely eventuality.

But just what is going on with Warrington?

A few friends who have been close to the club on a commercial basis have also expressed worries about where the club is going – still perhaps suffering a hangover from the departure of Roger Draper which will have undoubtedly have struck their ambitions to become the “best rugby league club on and off the pitch.”

Having seemingly rescued their season only a few weeks ago, they now find themselves 10th in the league and have to fight their way back into the top eight once again.

With Huddersfield and Widnes starting to find a bit of form, it might turn into a worrying two months.

And who would you least want to play when you’re on such a run?

Warrington’s next opponents – Castleford. Away.

Don’t forget that next weekend is the annual State of Mind themed Super League round. Please show support and spread awareness wherever you can.

Photo courtesy of Richard Long.

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