ANOTHER week brought another defeat for Warrington Wolves as the post-Daryl Powell era started in familiar fashion.

Catalans Dragons inflicted a seventh straight defeat upon The Wire and while interim head coach Gary Chambers insists he saw positives, their campaign continues to nose-dive.

Our Wire reporter Matt Turner picks out five key talking points from the game here...

Warrington Guardian:

Quite a task for new coach – whoever they may be

A change of coach can often have a galvanising effect on a team and club, not just in rugby league but in sport in general.

With the pre-match guard of honour featuring every one of the club’s teams below first-team level displaying a show of unity after a turbulent week, everything was set up for matters on the field to follow.

There were brief signs that it might, but they were all too fleeting.

It was a display that shows confidence within this squad is about as fragile as it can be at the moment – once they were knocked, they found it difficult to recover.

Whoever the new head coach is and whenever they arrive, they have quite a task on their hands to pick this group up off the floor.

Gary Chambers insists he has made headway with that in the limited time he has had with the group, but it is clear there is a long, long way to go.

Warrington Guardian: Wire have now lost seven games in a rowWire have now lost seven games in a row (Image:

Key errors are ruthlessly punished

It would be a push to accuse Wire of a lack of effort in this game – very little went right, but they were at least having a go and did not completely cave in when the game was gone late on.

However, their game continued to be plagued by basic errors and Catalans are a formidable enough outfit without being given gifts.

Matt Dufty’s spill of a Mitchell Pearce bomb under no pressure gave them position to open the scoring, while Tom Davies scored from the territory handed to them by Josh Thewlis’ knock on coming away from his own line.

Dufty had a night to forget – an unnecessary ball steal allowed Adam Keighran an easy two points and he was nowhere to be seen as the last line of defence in the second half as Tyrone May’s kicks through for first Matt Whitley and then Matt Ikuvalu foxed him.

Before all that, he threw a forward pass to Josh Thewlis that would have seen Wire open the scoring, but he was not on his own.

Warrington Guardian: This Matt Dufty error eventually led to Adam Keighran's opening tryThis Matt Dufty error eventually led to Adam Keighran's opening try (Image:

Well-oiled Catalans show the standard

For large parts of this season, Warrington were at the top of Super League looking down on the rest.

Now, it is clear who the standard-setters are and Catalans showed exactly why as they brushed Wire’s challenge aside with minimal fuss.

Even with Michael McIlorum pulling out through illness, their vastly experienced spine guided them around the field expertly while their ever-physical forward pack largely dominated.

It is easy to forget, too, that they were without players like Siua Taukeiaho, Mike McMeeken and Jordan Dezaria in that department as well as McIlorum.

They are moving quickly towards a second League Leaders’ Shield in three years and on this evidence, they will take some stopping.

Warrington Guardian: Mitchell Pearce touches down for a tryMitchell Pearce touches down for a try (Image:

Mikaele shows what Wire have been missing

How much better a position would Warrington be in had Tom Mikaele had been persuaded to see the remainder of the campaign out before returning to Australia?

We will never know, but his display fresh off the plane here suggests his presence would not have hurt.

It took a while for Wire to bring him into the game – he went several minutes without a carry even after entering the field – but once he got his hands on the ball, it was almost as if he had never been away.

Wire have badly missed the power and energy he brings and he will only get better as he finds his feet again.

Warrington Guardian: Tom Mikaele made his return to the club against CatalansTom Mikaele made his return to the club against Catalans (Image: PA)

History being threatened for all the wrong reasons

Warrington are now on the verge of setting a very much unwanted club record.

This loss means the current run of seven consecutive defeats equals their worst run of losses in a single season in the Super League era, which came back in 2002 when the club battled against relegation under Steve Anderson and David Plange.

There will be no such fight this time, but it gives an indication as to how much the floor has fallen out of a season that looked so promising.

That eight-game winning start to 2023 certainly feels a very long time ago.