DARYL Powell confirmed the decision to drop Matt Dufty to the bench for tonight’s win over Wakefield Trinity was for performance-based reasons.

Eyebrows were raised when the Wire teamsheet saw Dufty on the bench for the Round 11 clash, with Josh Thewlis lining up at full-back in his place.

The homegrown youngster crossed for two early tries as Warrington eventually ran out 32-18 winners to move back to the top of Super League.

Dufty was brought off the bench for the final 25 minutes after Matty Russell came off for a head injury assessment with Thewlis moving to the wing.

The Australian then stayed on when Russell was passed fit to return and Powell was pleased with how he responded to being left out.

When asked why he dropped out of the starting line-up in the first place, the head coach confirmed it was due to disappointment in his personal display against St Helens last time out.

“I just felt like his last performance was way, way off,” he said.

“I also think Josh Thewlis is going to be a really, really good full-back and I wanted to have a look at him there.

Warrington Guardian: Josh Thewlis scored twice having been moved to full-backJosh Thewlis scored twice having been moved to full-back (Image: SWPix.com)

“Duff’s handled it well and he’s looked bright when we put him back on there.

“Everybody’s accountable for playing well and he’s that. He took it well and I thought he played pretty well when he came on.”

Powell also confirmed hooker Daryl Clark was still being hampered by the knee injury which saw him withdrawn early against St Helens and miss England’s mid-season international against France.

It is hoped Clark will be back in contention for Hull KR’s visit to The Halliwell Jones Stadium next week.

“We didn’t have anybody else to put in the squad, other than putting a young kid in there for the sake of it,” Powell said.

“Clarky’s not far off but he wouldn’t have been right for tonight. Potentially, he could be back next week but it could be the week after.”

Russell and Sam Kasiano both went off for HIAs during the second half but both passed their concussion checks and were able to return to the field.

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