STEVE Price says beating Catalans Dragons today was “critical” for his Warrington Wolves side.

The Wire were impressive in recording a 34-4 victory at The Halliwell Jones Stadium to cement themselves in second spot in Super League.

Victory puts them six points clear of the Dragons, who sit directly behind them in third.

> Choose your Wire man of the match

Price expressed his delight at his middle unit for containing a powerful Catalans pack to set a platform for a second half in which they ran in 22 unanswered points.

“It was critical that we won today,” he said.

“A top-two finish is our benchmark and today was really important to cement that.

“They are a team that always try and jump you from the outset but I thought we combatted that really well.

“The starting middles did a really good job containing them and the interchanges skittled a few bodies off the back of that.

“We scored a few really good tries in the second half.

“It was a pleasing result and pleasing to give a debut to Josh Thewlis.”

> PHOTO GALLERY: Wire fire to tame the Dragons

Price gave a debut to full-back Thewlis, who at 17 years and 24 days old became The Wire’s second-youngest debutant of the Super League era.

“You coach for days like this – to give a 17-year-old their chance,” he said.

“Being a kid who’s come through our scholarship and academy programme, it makes you very proud as a coach.

“I wouldn’t have put him in if I didn’t think he was tough.

“He’s got a bright future but in saying that, he’s got a lot of hard work ahead of him and we’ll be sure to keep him grounded.”

> How the match was won

Full video reaction to come