SATURDAY was one of the most baffling days in the recent history of Warrington Wolves.

From dinner time onwards in and around Le Castillet, the Wire faithful’s familiar pre-match rendezvous point during excursions to Perpignan, the atmosphere was pleasant.

The bars were packed as those in primrose and blue basked in sweltering temperatures of around 33c, enjoying a beer or two – the odd chant being given an airing, but nothing too boisterous on show.

Similarly good-natured festivities continued in the vicinity of the stadium in the couple of hours immediately before kick-off.

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What happened next seemingly came completely out of the blue, despite things having been fiery on the pitch.

All I can say happened for certain is what is saw with my own two eyes.

The first disorder I personally witnessed was a male in a hospitality section behind where the bulk of the Warrington fans were seated hitting a Wire supporter with an outdoor, garden furniture type chair.

Those in the immediate vicinity either fled for cover or grappled with the man brandishing this stool and his associates.

Their reaction is perhaps understandable when under such extreme provocation.

But several others became involved when they didn’t need to – heading towards the conflict or throwing missiles in the direction of the melee – and this escalated the situation, with a number of punches thrown on both sides.

I did not see what led to the chair being used as a weapon.

This was a situation that was not necessarily caused by Warrington fans, but that does not mean that our supporters are entirely blameless.

That being said, those who did step out of line are still certainly in a minority – there having been north of 1,500 from the north west in the Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday evening and the trouble having involved about a dozen or so in primrose and blue.

Many pundits both professional and amateur – most of whom were sat at home in a different country – were more than happy to immediately point the finger of blame our way, with what was picked up on the TV cameras having perhaps given a slightly distorted perspective of events.

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Bans may follow, but what is important now is that the special relationship that exists between Warrington Wolves and Catalans Dragons is preserved.

From the Challenge Cup semi-finals of 2007 and 2018 to Barcelona in 2009 and countless occasions where thousands of Wire fans have made their way to the south of France, the bond with our friends across the Channel forged in the past 13 years is certainly unique.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Wolves mascot Wolfie sporting a Catalans Dragons shirt during the 2007 Challenge Cup semi-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium

It would be a great shame for this to be ruined over such a mindless, one-off incident.

There was no sense of trouble back in Perpignan after the game, although there were unconfirmed reports of bottles being thrown at away supporters' coaches by a small number of French fans.

Back at Le Castillet all was calm, a couple of dozen Wire fans dissected the events that had unfolded over a nightcap – most having headed back to Lloret de Mar or other spots where they were enjoying their weekend.

I and many other fans will look forward to many more enjoyable trips to a city where Warringtonians have traditionally been welcomed with open arms.

With a bit of making up to do on both sides, no lasting damage needs to have been done to the entente cordiale.