Warrington interim boss Gary Chambers praised the performance of full-back Matt Dufty and defended the late missed opportunity in the 24-22 defeat to Leeds Rhinos.
For long periods it looked like the visitors would end their six-game losing streak, having led 10-6 at half-time and later 16-12 in the second 40. However, late tries from Luke Hooley and James Bentley saw the Rhinos snap their own three-game losing run in front of their home fans at Headingley Stadium.
Australian Dufty opened the scoring in the second minute, and Stefan Ratchford’s clever kick should have seen the 27-year-old over to snatch the two Super League points late on.
Despite the chance going begging, Warrington’s interim head coach Chambers sprang to the defence of Dufty, who also set up winger Matty Ashton after a long-range break in the opening period.
Skipper Ratchford crossed before the hour mark, while back-rower Matty Nicholson made for a tense finish with his fourth try of the campaign before Dufty’s missed opportunity.
Starting hooker Danny Walker also missed a chance in the game with the try line at his mercy.
Warrington full-back Matt Dufty praised in Leeds defeat
“I thought he (Dufty) was outstanding,” said Chambers. “He can’t be defined by that one mistake at the end because of what he did generally through the game.
“I was made up for him. The kid takes it tough when he doesn’t play well and it’s part of his progress, and he will go again.”
Despite the defeat, Warrington remain fifth on the Super League table on joint-points with Salford and Hull KR below, and Chambers had few complains about his side’s effort.
“They went out and did a job and it hasn’t worked, but next week with the same effort and application it might,” added Chambers.
“With a couple of breaks here and there that game could have gone either way.”
Warrington next take on Hull in Round 23 at the MKM Stadium before a televised home clash at the Halliwell Jones Stadium with Castleford Tigers.