Warrington turned a winning position into a dispiriting defeat with a woeful defensive effort in the second half here last night.
Leading 18-6 just before half-time, the Wolves still had their noses in front on the hour mark when the French side had David Ferriol sent to the sin-bin for holding down in the tackle. But that was the signal for Warrington to collapse, conceding two tries while they had a one-man advantage and never recovering as the Dragons romped away to their first win of the season.
“We were really off the pace against Huddersfield last week, but we came with a much better attitude tonight,” said their new coach, Kevin Walters.
There was nothing good to be said about Warrington’s attitude, with a horror sequence of four tries in 11 minutes. “It wasn’t good enough at all in the second half,” said their coach, James Lowes. “I thought we were dreadful and I’ve told them.”
Warrington made a shaky start and were lucky to still have 13 men on the field when Ben Westwood hit Dane Carlaw with a high tackle that saw the Catalan player carried off, thankfully with nothing worse than concussion. The Dragons opened the scoring soon after, Thomas Bosc kicking through and Greg Mounis touching down.
Wolves profited from the lively dummy-half play of Mickey Higham – it was his little break that set up Chris Bridge to send Matt King over in the corner. Soon after that, Higham’s cut-out pass sent Garreth Carvell over and then a neat scrum-base move by Vinnie Anderson and Martin Gleeson released Chris Hicks for a third try.
Hicks’ third goal edged them further ahead, but when Adam Mogg became the second player – after Westwood – to go on report for a high tackle, this time on Chris Riley, the French side hit back with a try by Olivier Elima just before half-time. When Clint Greenshields scored his first just after the break, the Catalans were level, but Ferriol’s dismissal, part of a particularly ill-tempered passage of play, seemed to have tilted the game back towards Warrington.
Instead, the Dragons burst into life, Greenshields scored from Sane Perry’s short pass and Thomas Bosc’s long pass released Cyril Stacul. Jean Phillipe Baile burrowed over from dummy half, before Dimitri Pelo completed the try-scoring, the excellent Bosc finishing with six goals and Warrington going off to a rumble of discontent.
Lowes admitted to being concerned. “It’s not fitness – maybe attitude,” he said, warning that heads could roll next week. The charge hanging over Westwood is an extra problem the coach could to without. “It was a poor tackle,” even the coach admitted.
Warrington: Riley; Hicks, Gleeson, King, Bridge; Briers, Monaghan; Morley, Higham, Carvell, L Anderson, Westwood, V Anderson. Replacements used: Harrison, Wood, Blyth, Rauhihi.
Catalan Dragons: Greenshields; Stacul, Bell, Mogg, Pelo; Bosc, Perry; Carlaw, Baille, Guisset, Fakir, Croker, Mounis. Replacements used: Elima, Ferriol, Casty, Gossard.
Referee: J Robinson (Australia).Reuse content