Warrington ease past Catalans – talking points & ratings

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Warrington went six points above third-placed Catalans after winning 34-4 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The Wolves are now four points behind league leaders St Helens but are six points ahead of Catalans and Hull FC, who sit third and fourth respectively.

Steve Price made two changes to his Warrington squad that beat Hull KR in the Challenge Cup last week. Josh Thewlis and Jack Johnson came in for Jake Mamo and Tom Lineham. Thewlis made his first-team debut.

Catalans coach Steve McNamara made five changes to his side that were knocked out of the Cup by Hull FC last time out. Brayden Wiliame, Lewis Tierney, Remi Casty, Kenny Edwards and Alrix Da Costa dropped out of the side.

Arthur Romano, Matty Smith, Ben Jullien, Lambert Belmas and Mika Simon came in for the Dragons.

Fouad Yaha gave Catalans a lead thanks to an exquisite finish in the 18th minute.

Tries from Daryl Clark and Blake Austin in the last 10 minutes of the first half gave Warrington a 12-4 advantage at the break.

Three unanswered tries from Bryson Goodwin, Sitaleki Akauola and Josh Charnley in the second half handed Warrington a comprehensive 34-4 victory.

Three talking points

Clark excellent once again

The England international is having a fine season in the primrose and blue and can’t seem to anything wrong at the minute. He has proved to be a vital player for Price’s side in 2019.

Clark faces tough competition to make the Great Britain squad this autumn but he is doing all the right things to make Wayne Bennett’s squad for their tour of the southern hemisphere.

He was a menace against Catalans on Saturday and was the best player on the park by some distance. He’s got to be included in the Lions squad, hasn’t he?

Game full of big collisions

The game was full of huge collisions, from minute one to minute 80. You always know that Catalans are going to be big and physical, but Warrington’s forward pack came out on top in this one.

Sam Moa and Simon were the standout forwards for the Dragons and punched holes in Warrington’s defence throughout.

But Akauola was really impressive for the Wolves when he entered the field, as was Jason Clark. The game never really got going because there were so many players injured after big hits!

Warrington’s young debutant

Thewlis became the second youngest player – only behind now Leigh coach John Duffy – to make his debut for the Wolves at the age of 17.

The young full-back enjoyed a steady debut. He didn’t exactly blow the Dragons out of the water but did some good things and can take some positives out of his performance.

Thewlis – who has represented England Youth and Lancashire at Academy Origin level – has pace to burn and certainly has a bright future. We should all look forward to seeing more of him.

Line-ups & ratings

Warrington: Thewlis (7); J Johnson (7), Goodwin (8), King (8), Charnley (7); Austin (8), Patton (8); Hill (7), D Clark (9), Cooper (7), Currie (8), Hughes (7), Philbin (7). Subs: Murdoch-Masila (7), J Clark (8), Akauola (8), Davis (7).

Tries: D Clark, Austin, Goodwin, Akauola, Charnley Goals: Patton 7/7

Catalans: Gigot (6); Romano (5), Mead (6), Langi (6), Yaha (7); Tomkins (7), Smith (6); Simon (8), McIlorum (7), Moa (8), Whitley (5), Garcia (6), Bousquet (6). Subs: Jullien (5), Belmas (5), Baitieri (6), Kasiano (7).

Tries: Yaha Goals: Tomkins 0/1

Attendance: 10,015

Drew’s views

Warrington are a well-balanced team this year and could go far. Their forward pack is up there with being one of the best in the competition. They had some real firepower that came off the bench against the Dragons.

As for Catalans, it was an away performance that was all too familiar. They applied good, aggressive defence but then also conceded some silly errors. They didn’t offer much near Warrington’s line.

The Wolves will challenge for silverware this year, definitely.

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