Daryl Powell’s unexpected start to his Warrington reign


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The Start to Daryl Powell’s Warrington reign has not gone to plan so far with The Wire currently sitting in 10th place with 10 losses and only picking up five wins.

Fans are not happy? Players not happy? Coaches losing the dressing room? There are loads of unanswered questions at the moment as we hit the mid mark of the season.

A season of change at Warrington this year with Daryl Powell taking over the four-year reign of Steve Price who coached Warrington to three finals, with one victory in the spectacular Challenge Cup Final in 2019 vs St.Helens. With fresh ideas coming in from Daryl Powell, it was going to take time for the team to click.

With so many players and club legends such as veteran Chris Hill and Lee Briers going their separate ways, the Warrington fans were questioning was it the right choice to let these players go?

Warrington started the season with three consecutive wins, the victories coming against two of Powell’s former sides in Leeds and Castleford, the other against newly-promoted Toulouse to get their season off to the perfect start.

However, after a great start, it has gone downhill from round three for Powell’s side losing five games in a row, the first against a weakened Catalans Dragons team with a number of first-team players injured or suspended. They then travelled to the Totally Wicked Stadium to take on the three-peat champions St.Helens, for Warrington fans this was the game that would show them how their side competes with the very best. Tries from Welsby, Makinson, Percival and Lomax defeated Warrington as the Saints won 28-2.

Then two weeks in a row, Wakefield travelled to the Halliwell Jones Stadium in league and cup competitions to face Daryl Powell’s side as the Wolves tried to get back on track, but these thoughts quickly vanished with Wakefield’s half-back Mason Lino running the show in both games carving through Wire’s defence to progress in the cup and pick up the two points.

Two trips to Humberside in a month were on the cards for Warrington with the first visit to the East of Hull and with a delayed kick-off with the team not arriving untill 7;15, the first 20 minutes saw Rovers tear apart a disjointed Wire defence to race into a comfortable lead before Warrington scored some points of their own in the second-half as KR came away with a 34-18 victory. This performance left fans unhappy with plenty of questions to be answered.

Warrington’s first win in five games came against the Salford Red Devils to get the Easter period off to the best of starts. But Warrington fans didn’t get carried away, just three days later the second trip to Hull but this time to face the Black and Whites, after a late Matty Ashton try, it wasn’t enough to get the win as a controversial Manu Ma’u try handed Hull the two points. However, Warrington finished the Easter period with an unexpected win against Huddersfield Giants as the homegrown talent dominated to score ALL 36 points to win 2/3 over the Easter weekend.

The start of arguably the hardest set of fixtures you can get as the Wire faced Wigan, Catalans and Saints in their next three games. After a positive Easter, you would have thought Warrington may have turned but after a Riley Dean try against Wigan, Warrington were beaten 40-22 with Iain Thornley running the show with two tries in 10 minutes against very weak Warrington defence.

After a week break due to the Challenge Cup Semi-Final, Warrington travelled to the south of France for the second time in a number of months, with a decent 60 minute display with Warrington matching the Dragons a try from Julian Bousquet in the 65th minute stopped any potential fightback from the Wolves with Catalans eventually running away 40-8 winners.

A trip back home for Warrington as they welcome St.Helens to the Halliwell Jones Stadium and after an excellent performance, Warrington couldn’t get over the line after a spiteful last minute break away from up and coming star Connor Wrench but he was forced into touch by Tommy Makinson to give Saints the two points. A performance that saw the team applauded off the pitch by the home fans.

The Challenge Cup was over for another year and Super League is back on everyone’s minds for the fight for Old Trafford come September. Leeds were in town and if Warrington played like they did against Saints they would have a great chance against Rohan Smith’s men but with Warrington starting so brilliantly but not getting over the try line,  Leeds made them rue their missed opportunities as the Rhinos ran away worthy winners to get back in that playoff hunt.

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