WHO is responsible for Warrington Wolves’ current predicament?

Daryl Powell was asked that very question following another damaging defeat for his side and, as head coach, he says he must take “ultimate responsibility” for their poor form.

However, he also says the players must also accept their share having once again been “broken down when it really matters.”

Having worked their way into a dominant position not once, but twice against Hull KR, they appeared on course to secure a morale-boosting victory.

What followed, however, was a collapse similar to the one that saw Salford Red Devils fight back from 24-8 down to win 32-24 at The Halliwell Jones Stadium earlier this month.

From 14-0 and 22-12 behind, the Robins stormed through a shellshocked Wire side to run out 30-22 victors and Powell admitted the final 15 minutes was akin to “watching a film you’ve seen before.”

Warrington Guardian:

Hull KR celebrate the try from Sam Royle that ultimately secured victory. Picture by SWPix.com

“We’re losing games and I have to accept ultimate responsibility for that,” he said.

“The boys play the game and have to accept responsibility for their part. They’re working hard but mentally, we’re getting broken down when it really matters.

“To change that is probably the hardest thing.

“At the moment, we have three training sessions a week and you can’t put them under the mental and physical pressure to break that down.

“You’re working with players to change our concentration levels in practice, which is important but pretty tough.

“All I can say is I’m working seven days a week to try and turn it around, but at the moment we’re not where we need to be.

“I have never been in this situation before when so many games have been lost and the team is struggling in similar ways.

“We were in a winning position against Salford and this was similar in us getting pegged back. I’m unbelievably frustrated that we can’t nail games we should be winning.

“We started both halves so well and there’s a lot of really good things in there, but the things that are conspiring against us at this moment are significant.

“When it gets to that heat at the back end of a game, we’re not handling it well at all. It’s almost like watching a film that you’ve seen before.

“We just don’t concentrate for long enough when we’re in the heat of battle.

“The only thing we can change are the things in our control. Our own concentration is one of those things.”

When Jake Wardle crossed twice inside the opening quarter, it was just reward for a fast start but indiscipline allowed Rovers to creep back into contention at the break as Ben Crooks and Sam Wood touched the down, the latter just after Peter Mata’utia had been sin-binned for a high tackle.

Wire handled the critical period after half-time admirably, however, and when Thomas Mikaele crashed over moments after Elliot Minchella saw yellow, it appeared they had the game won again.

Warrington Guardian:

Thomas Mikaele's first Warrington try put his side 22-12 up. Picture by Mike Boden

Not so and after Matt Parcell had profited from Korbin Sims offloading despite the presence of three defenders on the try line, Ethan Ryan and Sam Royle completed the turnaround.

It meant that, once again, the Warrington players trudged off their home field amid a cacophony of boos and derision.

“We’re in a great position – we scored 22 points and pieced them together well,” Powell said.

“The conditions were tough but we were really good for the vast majority of the game.

“What really matters is what it says at the end and we’re not managing the end of games well at all. We get put under pressure, we panic and lack concentration and it’s hurting us big time.

“We’ve got to stop that to win games in Super League. Clearly we haven’t won enough and it’s a harsh lesson for us.

“Korbin Sims has got three blokes around him when he offloads that ball. He can’t get that ball out, but he does and they score a simple try.

“On the back of that, we give a penalty away and you can see it coming. It’s frustrating and so disappointing.

“I think we saw a group of blokes working hard for each other but we lack confidence at the back end of games when it’s on the line. That’s what got us.

“For 10 minutes at the end when we went behind, we just needed to be smart but we got marched 60 metres on two of those sets and we’re then getting the ball on our own line.

“In those conditions, scoring from there is pretty tough.”

With another defeat, more eyes are cast nervously over shoulders at the prospect of being sucked into a fight for survival.

While The Wire still have a cushion over Toulouse Olympique and Wakefield Trinity behind them, tension will no doubt grow with every poor result with their next two games see them visit two of Super League's top three in Huddersfield Giants and Wigan Warriors, 

When asked if he thought his side were in a relegation battle, Powell said: “We’re in a battle against ourselves at the moment.

“For us in our heads, we should be winning these games and we aren’t. In our heads, we need to find a way out of it.

“There’s only times you can keep saying the same things. We’ve got to come up with something that proves we’re coming through the other side of this.

“We’ve been looking up the table but now, we’ve got to say we need to batten the hatches down and make sure we win games, otherwise we’re under pressure and we can’t allow that to happen.

“What I’m saying to the players is we have to stick at it and make sure we come out of it. We’ve got to find a way to do just that.”