TAKING on the goal-kicking duties puts a further spotlight on scrum-half Dec Patton but he is confident Warrington Wolves’ season is going in the right direction.

Following the pre-season injury to first-choice number seven Kevin Brown, Patton’s partnership with Blake Austin has been closely monitored and scrutinised by supporters all year and the pair will continue to play a key part in The Wire’s fortunes this season.

With England full-back Stef Ratchford now on the sidelines with injury, missing the past two games, Patton has had no hesitation in taking over the kicking role.

That, along with some fine distribution work being rewarded with tries like the one Jake Mamo scored from deep at Hull KR on Friday, suggests he is settling into life again as a regular first-teamer after a period of adjustment.

Like all members of the team though, he will want to tidy up in defence and cut down on the penalties conceded.

“Blake and mine’s partnership is improving each week, not everything happens overnight,“ said the 24-year-old former Cardinal Newman High School student.

“We’ve been slowly building and these past couple of weeks we’re starting to get to know each other a bit more, but also the team.

“Fingers crossed over the next couple of weeks hopefully we should click not just as a pair but collectively as a group.

“As for the kicking, I’ve been practicing all year and have been ready to give it a go.

“I scuffed one at Hull KR, and I was a bit fuming with myself, but it’s not as if it’s been dropped on me.

“I do a couple of kicking sessions per week and I’m trying to get a bit more confidence week by week.

“I like to see myself as a kicker so I’m enjoying it.

“I wouldn’t have minded doing it from the beginning of the year but Stef’s been really good with the boot this year.

“You can’t knock him for what he’s done, he’s got us out of a lot of trouble sometimes

“I’m happy to have the extra responsibility, especially in the role I have anyway. It’s just a bit more added on.

“It’s kind of a bit of fun as well. It’s nice to do and gets you into the game a bit more, which I’m happy doing.”

Patton followed teammate Tom Lineham into the sin-bin in the first half against Hull KR but the energy-sapping work in that period was crucial in keeping Wire’s Wembley dream alive.

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“Going down to 11 men in that first half and not conceding at all shows what sort of a team we are,” he said.

“You kind of feel as though you’ve let your team down but at the end of the day I tried to grab the ball and keep hold of him but the ball’s reefed out. It was one of them.

“Watching and seeing the work that the fellas had to go through, especially in the middle with at least 20 minutes where we had at least one player off the field, it’s tough.

“It shows how resilient they are to keep the points away.”

He feels that successfully battling through the rare instance of being two men short will prove to be character building for the team.

“We’ll take a lot of confidence out of that,” he said.

“I think we got a bit complacent in the second half when we went 22 points up, started throwing silly offloads and not sticking to our game plan. It bit us on the backside.

“We’ve got to get better at seeing games out and not letting teams back in when we’ve got the lead but we came away with the win so it’s happy days.”