Embarrassed coach Daryl Powell says he takes “full accountability” for Warrington Wolves’ worst-ever finish in the summer era – but insists he will bring about an improvement next season.
The Wolves, who finished third under Steve Price last year, were consigned to second-bottom spot after being edged out 38-36 at Huddersfield in their penultimate game, while Wakefield won 34-18 at St Helens to move four points clear of them.
Warrington were third-bottom in both 1998 and 2002, but this is a new low, and Powell, after an 18th defeat in the 26th league game of his first campaign since moving from Castleford, admitted: “I’ve never finished this low in my coaching career.
“I’m embarrassed by it, but there are bigger things at play. The team has not been good enough and I haven’t been good enough clearly because of where we are.
“I have to hold my hands up and take full accountability. But I think we are going somewhere.
“We haven’t had that durability to be able to finish games off, but there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that this will change.”
Powell, who became player-coach of Keighley in 1996 and has also led Leeds and Featherstone, added: “There is no way I came here expecting this to happen.
“But it has happened because of a lot of things I saw when I came in and needed to change.
“There is no doubt we will change this. It cannot be all about the people coming in. But it can be all about the culture of the club.”
Powell continued: “If you’ve got 14 players out of contract and you hardly sign any of them for the following year, what’s going to happen? It’s obvious really, and that’s what has hurt us.
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster and at times, we’ve been able to almost tidy it up, but then May 1st comes (meaning players coming out of contract can talk to other clubs) and it’s been hard to manage.”
Pace merchant Matty Ashton and halfback George Williams have shared the club’s Ken Kelly Player of the Year award.
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.