DEC Patton feels confident his combination with Blake Austin in the halves can grow through the year.

They paired up in the Super League opener as Warrington Wolves defeated Leeds Rhinos 26-6 at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.

> How the match was won, Wire fans' selfies, match action gallery

But the 23-year-old knows there is plenty of room for improvement for the team and personally after getting the nod at scrum half from head coach Steve Price following the Achilles’ tendon rupture suffered by vice-captain Kevin Brown just a week before the season’s start.

“I’d been pushing for the spot all pre-season, it was what I wanted,” said the 23-year-old homegrown talent.

“But Kev’s a good mate of mine, I wouldn’t wish on anybody what’s happened and it’s horrendous.

“It’s not a nice thing, he’s got family at home and stuff like that, and with this injury it could be his season over.

“So on that score it’s very disappointing.

“For me, I’ve just got to hopefully take the chance, keep on improving each week, settle into the team and making the spot my own.

Warrington Guardian:

Dec Patton on the attack against Leeds. Picture: Mike Boden

“Steve Price didn’t say too much to me going into the game.

“In pre-season I was swapping in and out. I am ready for this, I’ve been working hard like the rest of the team and we’ve gelled pretty well so it’s not like I’m a new person coming into the team – we’ve worked on it all pre-season.

“I’m just happy to have my chance at the minute.

Warrington Guardian:

Blake Austin, focused during the warm-up against Leeds. Picture: Mike Boden

“Blake’s really good. He’s brought that spark we’ve missed and he’s helped all the team.

“He’s a good guy who cares about everyone, no matter who you are – young or old. He’s helping everyone and is just a good person to have around the team.

“I hope we can continue to develop a good bond as the season goes on.

“We can’t get ahead of ourselves, it’s only the first game.

“We spoke in the changing rooms about there being a lot that we can do better. Our kicks weren’t on the mark and it can change a game.

“But we’ll work on it and the bits we’ve done well we’ll carry on with and fix up the others. And hopefully we can build a good combination together.”


Reflecting on the game, a few players caught his eye in an all-round decent team display.

“To be honest, collectively as a team and the way we were down to 12 men for 20 minutes, everyone dug in deep,” he said, referring to co-captain Jack Hughes and Toby King spending time in the sin bin.

“And with the two less interchanges as well this year, the forwards had to dig in deep.

“On the left I thought Bryson Goodwin was awesome with his carries, Stef Ratchford and Blake, the middles, I think collectively as a team everyone was good.

“The team came together and that’s what we need.”

And as a hometown product himself, he appreciated the home debut off the bench late on of new recruit Danny Walker – one of Warrington’s own.

“It was a nice touch seeing Danny get on at the end. I’ve grown up with Danny and his brothers, he’s a top lad and he’ll do well for us,” said Patton, a former pupil at Cardinal Newman High School.

On the game itself, one in which The Wire led 20-0 at the break, Patton said: “We played really well and I thought our defence was fantastic.

“We were a bit unlucky at the end when Leeds scored with a scrambly try.

“But we made a lot of errors and could have scored a few more points so we’ve got a lot to work on but it was a good start for us and a lot of positives to take out of it.

“With a team like Leeds it’s never over so even if we’d been 40 points up at half time they could always come back.

“I think we got a bit offload-happy and a bit pass-happy and needed to complete a bit better.

“On a different day teams can get you on that but we got back to basics towards the back end of the game and happy enough we got another try away and sealed the game.

“It’s a big positive to start with a win.

“I think we were a bit eager. We had a few points on the board and wanted to score more.

“It’s not a bad thing, it’s the sort of team we are – we don’t just want to sit on the points we’ve got we want to score more.

“But moving on in the season we’ll probably fix that up a bit and take our yards rather than giving the ball up as much.”

He is so pleased for the season to be up and running.

“I’ve completely missed it,” he said.

“It’s a big buzz to be back out playing. The fans are awesome at The Halliwell Jones Stadium and it was electric, it was brilliant.”

Next up are Hull KR at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.

Patton did not see their win last-gasp win over Hull FC on Friday night but knows exactly what a win on the final play of a game can do to a team.

“Hull KR are going to come here with a lot of confidence,” he said.

“And confidence is a big thing with teams.

“If you’re on the ball and you’ve got a bit of confidence it does help in your game.

“But we can’t take any team lightly, there’s quality players everywhere. We’ll be looking forward to it and hopefully get two out of two.”