Spirit of 55 columnist, Wire fan Rob Watson, gives his thoughts on the 24-6 win by Warrington Wolves against Catalans Dragons in Perpigan on Saturday

I MUST admit I had Wire down as second favourites for this one, so I am going to class this as an excellent upset win.

While the old flaws were still in evidence, particularly the attack close to the line, this performance showed that you can get good results with combination of collective enthusiasm, good defence and moments of individual brilliance.

Maybe having a couple of young players in the team in the form of Thewlis and Ashton helped to increase the enthusiasm levels. I also like the combination of Davis and Jason Clark sharing the loose-forward role, both bring plenty of energy to the middle of the field in defence and attack.

For the defence to prevent Catalans scoring a try in the whole match – their only try coming from when Wire were in possession – is an impressive effort.

The key word there is effort, as there were times when the defensive structure was not as sound as they would like it to be, but there was an impressive amount of desperation not to have their try line breached.

Being smaller than Catalans did not stop Wire from being able to stand their ground down the middle, a combination of aggression and togetherness making up for the size disadvantage.

The moments of individual brilliance have been relied upon so much for so long that it can sometimes feel like they are part of the problem.

It is only the over reliance on them that is the worry, along with it giving the impression that they are playing on their own rather than together.

In an era of the game that is so heavy on structure and organisation, these individual moments are a great asset to have.

They do often though need to be supported by other players, as was the case when Daryl Clark made one of his trademark breaks from acting half back and Currie was on hand to support and turn the break into Wire’s first try.

This Wire team still look more dangerous when the play is broken up and players respond to what they see in the moment, rather than when they try to rely on a structured attack.

While they should continue to search for greater cohesion and slickness in attack, they should not shy away from more off-the-cuff plays that can work when enough players are alert to what is going on.

You get four points for a try whether or not you planned for it and practiced it in training.

The noticeable absence of Austin, whatever the real reason for it was, will prompt plenty of discussion about future team selection.

It is a time to remember that a coach’s job is to pick the players that make the best team, which is not always the same as picking the best players.

Combinations are so important in any team sport and especially so in rugby league.

It is also crucial to have a full team that all believe in the same philosophy on how to play the game.

Price might have some big decisions to make in the coming weeks, maybe with this being his last season with the club it will make it easier for him to be bold with his choices.


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