LOSING in any cup final is never easy, especially when you lose to an underdog – but every dog, or in this case Dragon, has its day.
Catalans Dragons have created history by becoming the first none English team to win the famous Challenge Cup in its 121 year history.
Hopefully it will help provide a major boost for the game in France and none can say the Catalans didn’t deserve their victory.
Warrington were certainly not at their best and while they could not be faulted for effort, they played to the Catalans strengths, focusing too much on trying to out muscle their French counterparts, rather than playing a wide expansive game.
While the players and coaching staff will be hurting it is more important than ever that they lick their wounds and bounce back quickly, starting with the visit of Hull in the Super 8s this Thursday.
It would have been a dream start to Head Coach Steve Price’s first season in charge had they managed to lift the famous silverware – but history is still within their grasp if they can kick on to the Grand Final at Old Trafford and lift the elusive holy grail.
The pain of losing at Wembley will soon be forgotten if they can succeed at Old Trafford.
This season there is no clear favourite to win the title, with any of the top clubs capable of beating each other on their day.
Certainly on their day Warrington are capable of beating anyone but Hull will be no pushover and with Wigan and St Helens both on the horizon in the Super 8s, there is still plenty to play for.
With 37-year-old veteran Bennie Westwood in the twilight of his career and Ryan Atkins about to embark on his testimonial year after 10 years loyal service, there would be nothing more fitting than an Grand Final success to bring the curtain down on the season.
Price has already recruited strongly for next season with marquee signing Blake Austin from Canberra Raiders set to replace the departing Tyrone Roberts, while forward Jason Clarke (Sydney Rabbitohs) and Matt Davies (London Broncos) have already been added to a squad which will also include long term absentee Ben Currie.
It all starts with the visit of Hull FC on Thursday evening when it is more important than ever that the Wolves lick their wounds, regain their hunger and kick on in search of the elusive title which is long over due in the trophy cabinet, following huge investment in the club.
Meanwhile the club’s fantastic community work continues to go from strength to strength as Neil Kelly, Sean Briscoe and the Wolves Foundation fly out to Australia with their Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) team.
The Wolves will take on South Sydney Rabbitohs in the inaugural PDRL World Club Challenge on Thursday, August 30 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney ahead of the NRL fixture between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers.
Warrington have been at the forefront of the game’s development and played the first PDRL game against Leeds Rhinos on Sunday, February 4. Since then the game has grown massively creating opportunities for people with both physical and learning disabilities to play Rugby League.
Australian comedian and TV presenter of The Last Leg, Adam Hills, is a key member of the Wolves PDRL team and helped instigate the fixture in Australia for the team to play against South Sydney PDRL.
It will provide an amazing opportunity to make a wider audience aware of disability rugby while allowing Warrington’s team to play the game they love on a huge stage whilst enjoying a unique experience Down Under.
Well done to everyone involved in helping this event take place.