- Sam Powell reflects on Wigan Warriors’ 12-28 victory over Catalans Dragons.
- The 28-year-old talks about his try-scoring form this season, the mental battle to overcome Catalans and playing in front of fans for the first time since March.
- Powell: “It is always a tough trip and it is a long day, but we needed a result and put in a good team performance.”
Sam Powell believes the attitude of the Wigan Warriors squad was one of the most important factors in their 12-28 win over Catalans Dragons on Saturday.
The hooker went over for his third try in three games, and his seventh of the season, as the Warriors came away from Perpignan with a victory.
Despite an early morning start and a four-hour wait at the Stade Gilbert Brutus until kick off, Powell was pleased by how the team overcame the mental battle as well as the physical one.
He said: “We could have had 1,000 excuses to why we didn’t play well, but we spoke about that beforehand and said that it comes down attitude, and how with the right one, the performance would follow.
“It is always a tough trip and a long day, but we needed a result and put in a good team performance.”
The 28-year-old was also happy by how the Warriors were able to step up in order to overcome their French opponents.
“If you look at their line-up, they have some outstanding players who have the X-factor, but individually we stepped up. It was roasting at the beginning of the game, but we just held on in there, which is what you need to do against Catalans. They start off really well, but you’ve just got to go with them, and our fitness came through.
“Our attitude wasn’t right towards the Hull KR game, and it showed. There is no better fixture than travelling to Catalans for the mental side of things – it’s one where you have to get your attitude right, and that’s the most important thing. We were always in control of the game, so that is a massive tick for us.”
The hooker went over in the 70th-minute for Wigan’s fifth try of the game, as he continued his impressive scoring form, which was a target he set himself at the start of the 2020 campaign.
“It’s not something I usually take notice of, but at the end of last season I did want to improve on it a little bit more. I am more focused on putting in consistent good performances, and the try scoring will take care of itself.”
The performances by the young members of the squad is something that Powell was impressed by and he says he will do what he can to help their progress.
“They bring a lot of enthusiasm and hunger to the team; they really are the future of Wigan. When I was in their position, you take a hell of a lot out of games, even if it doesn’t feel like it. It is just about getting used to that grind and coming out on the other side of it, whilst playing really well at the same time.
“For me it’s about being as professional as I can – both on and off the pitch. They will also pick up a few things for themselves.”
For the first time since March, fans were allowed to watch a live Betfred Super League game, with an attendance of 5,000 allowed in the Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday,
“It was good, felt like a bit of normality. Catalans is always a hostile place, and their fans didn’t disappoint.”
Wigan turn their attention to the Coral Challenge Cup next week, as they take on Hull FC at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
Powell is hoping his side can continue their run in the competition, and says the focus each week is on themselves.
“It’s an iconic trophy, I’m hungry to go down to Wembley and win it in order to tick it off. When we got beat in 2017, it’s probably the one little regret I have in my career.
“As a team we are not always talking about must wins; it’s more about performances and how we want to play. There’s a lot of unpredictability so it’s more about focusing on ourselves.”
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