Wello’s World - Fans made a difference in close contest

Paul Wellens
Paul Wellens

WE were delighted to come away from the south of France with a victory and two valuable points – it isn’t an easy place to go and get a win and only ourselves and Wigan have managed to do that at all in Super League this season.

We had a bit of a shocker in terms of travel with our flight getting delayed both going out and coming home, that added to a two-and-a-half hour bus journey from Barcelona to Perpignan made what should really be a four to five hour trip into a 10-hour trek.

Still, it’s a long way off the 22 hours it took us to get home from Perpignan in 2007, so we can’t complain too much, and thankfully we didn’t let the disruption affect our performance, although it did affect Jonny Lomax’s tanning routine as he was hoping to take advantage of the first bit of nice weather we’ve had in a while.

The game itself was extremely tough and we made it all the more difficult by giving away too many penalties. As a consequence, we left ourselves with a lot of defending to do and it was just as well that we were prepared to work hard for each other.

This was even more evident when Tony Puletua was sent off with eight minutes remaining and we had to defend a few sets on our own line with 12 men.

It is at times like these that you find out a lot about the team and I think we proved in that eight-minute period that we are a determined group of players, who, despite a bit of adversity, were prepared to dig deep and find that little bit extra for each other.

As players we took great heart from the vocal support that our travelling army of fans provided in those latter stages, to hear our supporters getting behind us the way they did really does help the boys out during tough periods in the game.

It’s been reported that we took more than a thousand supporters to Perpignan which is a tremendous effort and it made for a fantastic atmosphere.

I must also say that the French people certainly get behind their team too and it got pretty hostile at times, especially late on when the video referee ruled out what they believed to be a try.

As I was leaving the changing room, one Catalans supporter came for a “chat” and I’ll be honest I couldn’t understand a single word of what he was saying.

It’s been 16 years since I finished my GCSE French and it was confirmation that I’ve forgotten quite a bit of it, if not all of it since.

However, by his tone and the fact that his eyeballs were bulging out of his head, I could see that he wasn’t a happy chap, so I bid him au revoir and headed for the team bus as quickly as possible.

n WE now turn our attentions to our next game against Huddersfield on Sunday evening. As a club, they have gone through some upheaval recently with getting knocked out of the Challenge Cup, parted company with our soon-to-be coach Nathan Brown, and have lost eight out of their last nine matches in Super League.

At one point this season, you would never have envisaged anything like that happening as they were sat on top of the table and playing some of the best rugby in the competition but it goes to show that you can take nothing for granted when it comes to rugby league.

We will be working hard again in training this week to get better and will by no means taking our opposition lightly, we know only too well that a poor run of form can be turned around by one good performance after being in a similar situation earlier in the season, so we will prepare to play a Huddersfield team at their best.

They are now coached by our former player Paul Anderson, who has been their assistant coach since leaving us at the end of the 2006 season. It’s fair to say he has waited patiently for this opportunity and I really hope he does well in the role of head coach, just not this coming weekend.

Quote of the Week: 
Be miserable, or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.

– Scott Hale

Come on you Saints – Wello