THIS was a game in which we would find out how good Warrington Wolves’ squad really is.

For the first time this year, they had real injury worries – particularly in the outside backs with four senior players unavailable.

With the way Wire performed though, especially in the second half, it did not show.

They were facing a side that have had the Indian sign over them of late but they ended up beating Catalans at their own game as Super League’s biggest and arguably most fearsome pack was largely neutralised.

Chris Hill, Mike Cooper and Joe Philbin stuck with them early on and allowed the interchanges to dominate later as a double Tongan onslaught from Sitaleki Akauola and Ben Murdoch-Masila proved too much to resist.

> Price delighted to give Thewlis debut in 'critical' victory

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Around them, Blake Austin and Declan Patton kept the opposition’s big men moving around with some sound kicks and eventually, all of thise told on the scoreboard as the Dragons looked a battered and beaten side by the close.

This was by no means the perfect, 80-minute display from Wire. Far from it infact as they lacked fluidity in attack for much of the first half as they let the niggling and spoiling tactics of the Dragons get the better of them.

As has often been the case, however, the individual brilliance of Daryl Clark and Austin broke the game and earned them a lead they would never relinquish.

> Wire 34 Catalans 4 as it happened

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Bryson Goodwin’s 100th career try was a fitting reward for a stellar display on the left edge while Matt Davis served notice of his growing promise with a typically industrious and energetic showing from the bench.

All things considered, though, the most impressive of all was young Josh Thewlis.

At 17 years and 24 days old, only a 16-year-old John Duffy in 1997 has been a younger Super League debutant for Warrington.

What we saw, though, was a display beyond his tender years.

> 'I was in the middle of a driving lesson when Steve called me!'

He was clearly targeted for some rough treatment from the Dragons – one particular bell-ringer from the bruising Julian Bousquet stands out – but on each occasion he bounded back up and came back for more.

A product of the Waterhead Warriors club in Oldham that has spawned the likes of Kevin Sinfield and Iestyn Harris, Thewlis comes from good stock and he has been earmarked for a big future by everyone behind the scenes at The Wire.

On this evidence, Thewlis has a long and fruitful career ahead of him.

Jack Johnson too did himself no harm at all in place of Tom Lineham and those two were among seven of the starting Wire 13 to have been brought through the club’s youth system.

The present – and the future – looks very bright indeed.

> PHOTO GALLERY: Wire fire to tame the Dragons


. Josh Thewlis becomes Wire’s second-youngest Super League debutant aged 17yrs 24days – only John Duffy (16yrs 8mnths 19days) was younger when playing v London in March 1997

. Bryson Goodwin scores his 100th career try

. Wire now unbeaten in past 11 home meetings with Catalans

. Josh Charnley ends a run of six matches without a try

Warrington Guardian:


Super League, Round 17

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Warrington Wolves...34 Catalans Dragons...4

Wolves: Josh Thewlis; Josh Charnley, Toby King, Bryson Goodwin, Jack Johnson; Blake Austin, Declan Patton; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Joe Philbin. Subs: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jason Clark, Sitaleki Akauola, Matt Davis

Dragons: Tony Gigot; Arthur Romano, David Mead, Samisoni Langi, Fouad Yaha; Sam Tomkins, Matty Smith; Mickael Simon, Michael McIlorum, Sam Moa, Matt Whitley, Benjamin Garcia, Julian Bousquet. Subs: Lambert Belmas, Benjamin Jullien, Jason Baitieri, Sam Kasiano

Scoring: Yaha try, 17mins, 0-4; D Clark try, 31mins, Patton goal, 6-4; Austin try, 39mins, Patton goal, 12-4; Patton penalty goal, 44mins, 14-4; Goodwin try, 64mins, Patton goal, 20-4; Akauola try, 70mins, Patton goal, 26-4; Charnley try, 76mins, Patton goal, 32-4; Patton penalty, 80mins, 34-4

Penalties: Wolves 8 Dragons 6

Referee: Chris Kendall

Attendance: 10,015

Top Man:


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