THE element of jeopardy involved with Challenge Cup ties can often bring a little bit extra out of players.

In a do-or-die situation, that extra one per cent seems easier to come by.

It was certainly evident in another dogged, committed Warrington Wolves display which provided an element of déjà vu.

> VIDEO: What Warrington Wolves head coach Steve Price had to say about the cup win

Less than two weeks prior to this meeting, The Wire had gone toe-to-toe with Catalans in their own back yard and claimed the spoils thanks to a superb defensive performance.

Fighting fire with fire was the way to go – evidenced by Steve Price’s team selection – and with their Wembley hopes on the line, they produced an off-the-ball display that was arguably even better.

As the dangerous Dragons hammered away at the door in the second half, they were met time and time again by a primrose and blue wall.

There were always going to be periods where they would come under pressure but in the early stages, it looked as though Warrington would be too far ahead for it to matter.

Rather than Daryl Clark’s early score from Toby King’s superb break being a sign of things to come, however, it can be said they left some points out there.

Daryl Clark touches down. Picture by

Daryl Clark touches down. Picture by

Stefan Ratchford’s late withdrawal could be seen as mitigation, but breaking down defences is not a new problem regardless of personnel.

A different result would have seen more scrutiny placed on the attack but in the end, the win is all that matters.

Asking Greg Inglis to play at full-back in only his second game back may have seemed a stretch – not that you would have known he used every ounce of his experience and know-how to guide his side from the back.

Greg Inglis. Picture by SWPix

Greg Inglis. Picture by SWPix

His halcyon days as a full-back may well be behind him, but those of Josh Thewlis are certainly ahead of him.

His future lies in the number one shirt but this was a coming-of-age display on the wing.

He shackled a much bigger opposite number in Fouad Yaha and one scything line break in the second half should have amounted for more.

It was a big swing from Price to include him with the more experienced Tom Lineham available again, but he more than rewarded his faith in him.

Josh Thewlis was impressive on the right wing. Picture by PA Wire

Josh Thewlis was impressive on the right wing. Picture by PA Wire

The right edge as a whole stood up to be counted – they have rightly come in for some criticism for their defence but they were a key part of this determined team display.

After a sticky start to the campaign, belief and confidence appears to be growing.


. Wire keep up their record of reaching the semi finals in each of Steve Price’s seasons in charge

. Gareth Widdop and Ben Currie make their 250th and 200th career appearances respectively


Challenge Cup, quarter final

Friday, May 7, 2021

Catalans Dragons...6 Warrington Wolves...16

Dragons: Sam Tomkins; Tom Davies, Dean Whare, Samisoni Langi, Fouad Yaha; James Maloney, Josh Drinkwater; Gil Dudson, Michael McIlorum, Julian Bousquet, Joel Tomkins, Mike McMeeken, Ben Garcia. Subs: Alrix Da Costa, Jason Baitieri, Joe Chan, Sam Kasiano

Wolves: Greg Inglis; Josh Thewlis, Jake Mamo, Toby King, Josh Charnley; Blake Austin, Gareth Widdop; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Jason Clark. Subs: Joe Philbin, Matt Davis, Robbie Mulhern, Sitaleki Akauola

Scoring: D Clark try, 4mins, Widdop goal, 0-6; Widdop penalty, 18mins, 0-8; D Clark try, 28mins, Widdop goal, 0-14; Widdop penalty, 43mins, 0-16; McMeeken try, 62mins, Maloney goal, 6-16

Penalties: Dragons 7 Wolves 9

Sin bin: Dudson (Dragons, 6mins, dangerous contact)

Referee: Liam Moore