Warrington ‘buzzing’ with win in France despite not being at their best

James Gordon
Daryl Powell Warrington Wolves News Images

Photo: Craig Thomas/News Images.

Warrington provided another example of their growing ability to win tough games despite not being at their best as they won away at Catalans in the Challenge Cup.

Matty Ashton’s late try secured them a 16-14 win, the second time they have won in Perpignan this season.

The Super League table toppers haven’t been at their fluent best in recent weeks, having suffered back-to-back defeats to Wigan and St Helens.

But after grinding out a win against high-flying Hull KR last week, this win in Catalans is another positive result.

Powell said: “The boys are buzzing and know that we’re probably not playing at our best at the moment, but we’re winning games against really tough teams.

“I thought it would be a tight game. We were really good in the first half and we created a lot of opportunities – Pete gets away but puts a forward pass in, Daryl Clark drops the ball over the line.

“It flipped a little bit in the second half – I don’t think we started great and we didn’t have as much cutting edge as we’d want when we got in good positions.

“We’re pretty resilient, we hung around and found our opportunity right at the death.

“That’s a big win for us today – they’re a big physical team who don’t lose much here.”

A great way to win a game

On their last visit, the Wolves found a way to win with 12 men following a red card for forward Gil Dudson.

Ironically, Dudson returned to action for this match having served a five-game suspension.

Tries from Ashton and Matt Dufty, who was reinstated to the starting line-up after being benched in the previous two matches, put Warrington 12-0 up in the first half.

Arthur Romano got Catalans on the board before half time and they got on top at the start of the second half. Tom Johnstone pulled them back within two at 12-10, and then Matt Ikuvalu scored a try while the Dragons were down to 12 men following a sin-bin for Michael McIlorum.

But Ashton’s late try, created by field position set up by a Catalans knock on deep in their own half, secured Warrington’s place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Powell added: “Winning it in that way is a great way to win a game.

“It’s tough for Catalans as I thought they played well in the second half, but the mood is great.”

There was frustration at the lack of TV or radio coverage for the game, and the scheduling of it was also delayed.

Despite that, an impressive number of Warrington fans made the journey to Perpignan to cheer their team on.

They join Hull KR, Leigh, St Helens and Wigan in the last eight, with three further Challenge Cup sixth round ties still to be played.

Salford host Huddersfield this evening, before Castleford take on Hull live on BBC on Sunday. Also on Sunday is the only all-Championship clash of the round, which sees York host London Broncos.

MORE: BBC to show draw for Challenge Cup quarter-finals