Super League: Warrington coach Tony Smith hails Michael Monaghan impact in Catalan Dragons win
Last Updated: 01/08/14 11:25pm
Tony Smith was overjoyed after watching his Warrington Wolves side rediscover form with a hard-fought 26-24 victory over Catalan Dragons on Friday night.
The Wolves travelled to Perpignan on the back of successive defeats but they returned to form by becoming only the third side to prevail in the south of France this season.
Brothers Michael and Joel Monaghan both crossed for tries for the visitors, with Gene Ormsby and Rhys Evans also touching down in a see-saw match that saw Warrington always just in front.
With a Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds Rhinos coming up next week, Smith was pleased to see his Wolves overcome testing conditions to claim victory.
“I'm delighted because we had to earn every last little bit of that tonight and we needed it too,” Smith told Sky Sports.
Michael Monaghan was enormous for us tonight. He’s been out for some long and he was amazing.
“It was a great game. Tough conditions, we had some major downpours before kick-off and it made a difference to both teams.
“Both teams like to throw it around but couldn't really do it tonight, but I thought both teams played tactically well when you take the conditions into account.
“Some smart kicking and turning each other round, it was tough, they're a tough team and it's a tough trip to come over here.”
Michael Monaghan took to the field for the first time in seven weeks and the Australian marked his return by turning in a man-of-the-match display, much to the delight of Wolves coach Smith.
“Michael was probably the difference between the sides,” he claimed. “I thought Thomas [Bosc] came up with some brilliant plays for them too, but Michael Monaghan was enormous for us tonight.
“He’s been out for some long and he was amazing. He came up with some really smart plays as well as being extremely courageous.”
Monaghan was quick to deflect the praise onto his colleagues, but was delighted with a well-oiled team performance.
"It was a brilliant performance, especially after two disappointing ones the last couple of weeks," he said. "Everyone dug in and it was probably one of our best performances of the year.
"It's what we've been working on this season, digging in for each other, and I think from one to 17 everyone did that."