LESS than a fortnight ago, Warrington Wolves turned in their best display of 2021 to beat Catalans Dragons in their own back yard.

However, in order to secure a repeat result in the Challenge Cup quarter final between the two tomorrow, head coach Steve Price says his side will need to be even better still.

Having seen off plucky Championship opposition in Swinton Lions to book this tie, The Wire are now aiming to keep up the record of at least reaching the semi finals in each year of Price’s tenure.

Failure to win at Headingley, though, means hopes of sending him off with a second Challenge Cup winner’s medal will come crashing down.

“I remember when I was a young kid watching it with my father, getting up early in the morning,” Price said of rugby league’s oldest knockout cup competition.

“It’s got great history and I’m very honoured and privileged to be involved in it.

“It’s going to be a different challenge to what it was two weeks ago. It’s knockout footy now and as a club, we pride ourselves on doing really well in the Challenge Cup.

Steve Price lifts the Challenge Cup trophy in 2019. Picture by Mike Boden

Steve Price lifts the Challenge Cup trophy in 2019. Picture by Mike Boden

“Across the board – from when we got on the plane in the morning to when we got off it at night – I was really pleased with how the guys applied themselves that day.

“We’re going to have to be even better on Friday. They are a quality team and ask a lot of questions of you.

“They have big-game experience but so have we. I feel really confident in how our game has been progressing and it makes for a good 80 minutes.

“They’ve got a quality forward pack, two exciting halves who have been around for a while and some big back-five players.

“We’re going to be up for the challenge because we need to get better too.”

The Wire will be without Matty Ashton after he picked up an ankle injury during Saturday’s 50-26 victory over Hull KR.

Price says there are “three or four” options to replace him at full-back, including recalling stand-off Blake Austin.

> How Blake Austin has responded to being dropped from the Warrington Wolves team

The Australian coming back into the team alongside Gareth Widdop in the halves would allow Stefan Ratchford, who has started the past two games including the win in France at stand-off, to move back to his more regular full-back role.

However, the Wire boss also says utility back Jake Mamo and youngster Josh Thewlis are also in contention to start the game.

“We’ve got a number of avenues we could go down this weekend. There’s at least three or four options,” he said.

“Putting Stefan Ratchford back to full-back is certainly an option, but we have Jake Mamo and Josh Thewlis there too.

“I’m really happy with how the squad are applying themselves. There’s real pressure being applied by all 29 players.”

> LISTEN: We predict how Warrington Wolves will line up against Catalans Dragons here