Wire fan Rob Watson gives his thoughts on the Catalans game, in the Spirit of 55 (the year The Wire last won the Championship)

After the glory of booking their place at Wembley with an excellent performance just when they needed it, Wire faced arguably the toughest trip in Super League.

Playing Catalans in Perpignan in the height of the summer temperatures is always going to be a tough test.

> OPINION: The bond between Wire and Ctalans needs to be repaired

It was too hot to be hot headed but unfortunately that was something both sets of players couldn’t avoid.

It was a brutal match with several incidents that were neither big or clever.

At times it was like watching a match from the 80s as players seemed to be trying to see just how much they could get away with.

Catalans tactics were as subtle as a sledgehammer. Using their size to batter Wire into the brink of submission.

It did highlight that outside of the props only Ben Murdoch-Masila brings any noticeable size to the Wire squad, and even the props aren’t especially big for Super League props.

Size isn’t everything of course and on another day Wire’s superior all around speed could run the legs off Catalans and leave them looking slow rather than big.

Wire’s defence again looked good for most of the match, despite conceding thirty points in the end.

It is simply a case of them doing too much defending, especially in their own half.

Handling errors and penalties were the two usual culprits for losing the possession and territory battle.

If Wire get a fifty percent share of both those aspects, then they are good enough to edge out a win against anybody.

But once they start losing those battles their attack is currently not nearly good enough to make up for it and get the win.

Hopefully this is the sort of battle that will bring them even closer together as a team, going through any adversity together often has that effect, especially when they have had to physically defend each other so much.

No doubt this match has left their egos bruised as well as their bodies.

The next couple of fixtures aren’t any easier, it might get worse before it gets better, but if they are to salvage something from this season they will have to rely greatly on their team spirit and an ability to cut down on the handling errors and penalties in the matches that matter most.

The injury to Blake Austin was the most worrying, with him missing, an attack that has already been looking blunt for weeks will look even less likely to score tries.

If the injury is long-term then Wire will either be looking at Kevin Brown coming back as soon as possible or something of a major reshuffle to the backline.

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From the joy of booking a Wembley spot, to the despair of the latest crushing league defeat in less than a week - Wire seasons are always more likely to be a rollercoaster than a cruise.

A lot of people prefer rollercoasters anyway.

I wasn’t there so it would be completely wrong of me to make any comments about what happened on the terraces at the end of the game.

My hopes are that no one was seriously hurt, and that people won’t be put off going to Rugby League matches.