WHILE insisting there were positives to take despite another heavy defeat, Daryl Powell says there are “mentality problems” within the Warrington Wolves squad that need to be fixed quickly if they are to progress.

Catalans Dragons inflicted yet another 40-point scoreline on Powell’s side as The Wire collapsed in the later stages at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, conceded 26 points in the final 15 minutes.

Prior to that, Powell’s side had done well to hold the Dragons at bay but eventually, they wilted in sweltering conditions.

Warrington Wolves boss on Catalans Dragons loss

Warrington Guardian:

Picture by SWPix.com

With league leaders St Helens up next in just five days’ time, there is a danger things could get worse before they get better.

"We didn’t play for 80 minutes,” Powell said.

"We’ve seen over the past two games that against the better sides, we’re not playing well enough over 80 minutes.

"We’re going to need to do that against St Helens and obviously that’s always a very tough game.

"I thought there were some positive signs for us but not enough clearly. I thought we did improve but we’re going to have to do so again to knock St Helens over.

"I don’t think the scoreline tells the story of the game, to be honest. In the end, they got away from us and our quality wasn’t good enough.

"We’re eight points down with 14 minutes to go but we lost our way completely.

"I thought we got some tough calls but that last period is poor by any standards.

"I thought we got rattled – we spoke about trying to fix things up individually rather than collectively, which we were pretty good at for the first half in particular.

"I just thought we panicked in good attacking positions – we had a front rower trying to kick the ball at one point.

"We didn’t have control of the game and that last 15 minutes is one to forget.

“I thought we worked really hard defensively and controlled – for the most part – what they threw at us in the first half.

Warrington Guardian:

Wire largely held Catalans at bay for the first half and the start of the second. Picture by SWPix.com

“I think they had six more sets than us in the first half and 10 overall. That’s massive when you’re playing in the heat over here and against a really big, physical team.

“There are lots of positives but ultimately, we’ve lost another game.

“There’s mentality problems that we need to fix up when we go behind in games.

“I saw New Zealand Warriors this morning come back and nearly win a game from being nearly 30 points behind – we can’t worry about being eight points down.

“There’s a little bit of that in the team at the moment that we need to get rid of and maintain our composure over 80 minutes.

“You work on it and you talk about it but ultimately, the players play the game.

“The game puts you under pressure mentally and physically and I think mentally, we’re not handling some of the situations that are happening to us well enough.”

The sides went in level at 6-6 at the break, with Connor Wrench and Dragons winger Tom Davies swapping tries.

Warrington Guardian:

Connor Wrench touches down for Wire's only try. Picture by Joe Richardson

Sam Tomkins and Peter Mata’utia then traded penalties in the early knockings of the second half, but Mitchell Pearce’s try and another Tomkins penalty opened the floodgates.

Julian Bousquet, Gil Dudson, Fouad Yaha and Arthur Mourgue all crossed in the final stages as the pressure finally told on Powell’s men.

Powell took issue with the awarding of two of the Dragons tries although he accepts it had little bearing on the final outcome.

Pearce’s try was awarded despite seemingly inconclusive evidence that he had grounded the ball amid Ellis Longstaff’s attempt to hold him but, with video referee Robert Hicks sticking with on-field official Liam Moore’s awarding of the try.

Powell drew comparisons to the Easter Monday loss at Hull FC, when Manu Ma’u’s winner was allowed to stand in similar circumstances.

Dudson’s score was also checked for a double movement but was allowed to stand.

“I thought two of the tries weren’t tries. We had the issue at Hull a few weeks back when the referee doesn’t seen the ball down.

“We’ve got to do something about that – he had to make a different call there if he can’t see the ball down – and the Dudson try is a clear double movement.

“It seems flippant talking about it when we’ve conceded so many points, but some of them are big turning points.

“I think the refereeing department are going to have to have a hard look at themselves to see if they’re getting these things right.

“We probably would have got beat anyway, but that’s a couple of games now where they’ve got it wrong.”

Powell elected to end on a positive, with younger members of his starting line-up earning praise.

Josh Thewlis put in another promising showing at full-back before succumbing to injury in the second half while try-scorer Wrench was also picked out for acclaim.

Aside from scoring, he made a fleet-footed break down the touchline in the second half – one of two long-range breaks that were expertly shut down by Dragons full-back Tomkins.

Warrington Guardian:

Connor Wrench is tackled by Sam Tomkins having broken up the right touchline. Picture by SWPix.com

“It’s a knee injury with Josh but we’re not sure exactly what it is at the moment,” said Powell on his full-back’s issue.

“He’s taped up but we’ll have to have a look at it when we get home.

“Some of the positives for us today were the young boys – I thought Connor Wrench was really strong.

“If we’d have taken one or both of those breakaway chances the game might have looked a bit different.”

Powell also confirmed that there are no injury concerns around winger Josh Charnley and centre Toby King, who were both left out of the team, and that their absence was a tactical decision.