Warrington Wolves: Daryl Powell throws support behind Peter Mata’utia with injury latest on Josh Drinkwater

Josh McAllister
Peter Mata'utia, Josh Drinkwater

Warrington head coach Daryl Powell has thrown his support behind utility Peter Mata’utia, as well the providing the latest on injured half-back Josh Drinkwater. 

Drinkwater, 31, has not featured since the club’s Magic Weekend defeat to Hull in Newcastle due to injury.

He missed the club’s 30-26 victory over Huddersfield at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, and most recently the 14-12 defeat to Wigan in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

The Australian playmaker has been named in an unchanged 21-man squad by coach Powell for the trip to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

“I’m not 100% certain. He’s trained today but he still looks a little uncomfortable on the ankle,” Powell said on Drinkwater.

“We’ll give him tomorrow to see how he is.”

Warrington have appeared to have missed their starting number #7 in recent weeks, with a lack of organisation noted during their Challenge Cup exit at the DW Stadium.

“His role was always to get the control and organise our game and allow George [Williams] to do what he does,” Powell continued.

“I think he’s been reasonably consistent, there’s been a couple of games where he hasn’t been at his best.

“But he’s one of those players you need in a team, who organises everything and people feed off the back of that.

“‘Drinky’ has been great and we’ll get him back out there as soon as we can.”

Daryl Powell throws support behind Peter Mata’utia 

Drinkwater’s absence has seen outside-back Mata’utia utilised in the halves alongside England captain George Williams.

The 32-year-old, who is off contract at the end of the year, has featured in almost every position for Wire since his move ahead of 2022, including back-row, loose forward and his preferred centre position.

Powell has thrown support behind the former Castleford Tigers outside-back, having copped some criticism from supporters following the latest defeat.

“Personally, I think Pete has done a decent job,” Powell said. “Last week, we made that many errors it was pretty difficult to control the game.

“I’ll stick by him wherever he plays.

“I think he’s been class. I thought he made some errors this last week, but there won’t be anybody more disappointed than him.

“Personally, I don’t read social media, I don’t get it at all and I don’t believe in it.

“I’ve got my own opinions and there’s quite a lot of people who I trust as well who I’d rather talk to than go and read what people want to say [on social media].”

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