SPIRIT OF '55: Slow start blows out as Wolves fail to hit top gear

Albert Naughton, the last Warrington captain to lift the Championship trophy in 1955

Albert Naughton, the last Warrington captain to lift the Championship trophy in 1955

First published in Sport Warrington Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports blogger

IT couldn't have started any better.

Early in the first set O'Brien showed great vision and produced an excellent long pass to send Currie racing away down the left from inside his own 20 metre line.

Currie did everything right, drawing the full back to him and timing his pass to Rhys Evans perfectly to allow the winger a free run to score after only 30 seconds of the match.

Credit to Wakefield for not letting that explosive start dent their confidence, they established a foothold immediately after that.

Their game plan was simple, but it was still good to watch. Strong, aggressive forwards worked hard to win the battle down the middle and produce a few offloads that hurt the Wire defence.

To go with that strong pack performance they had an excellent organiser and string-puller in the shape of half back Tim Smith.

The main beneficiary of Wakefield's excellent performance was a Wire player. Chris Riley, on a season-long loan with the Wildcats, scored a hat-trick, at least two of which were as easy as he could hope to score in Super League.

Several times in the game it looked like Wire were on the verge of producing a comeback strong enough to win. But every time they got within two points it was Wakefield who were next to score.

Currie and Ratchford are both excellent players who would always be in any team I picked, but having both of them in the back row does leave Wire a little lacking in out-and-out piano carriers, the sort of players who will generate lots of go-forward down the middle and do the difficult runs away from their own line.

Tim Smith was particularly impressive every time Wakefield got near to the Wire line, able to pick holes in the defence with short passes both inside and outside.

That was in stark contrast to Wire, who despite lots of time near the Wakefield line only scored close range tries via hopeful kicks.

It looked like one of those Wire performances where they tried to win without expending the maximum amount of energy, as if they might have had an eye on battles to come.

But once again it showed that in Super League it is incredibly difficult to coast to victory in anything other than top gear.

Comments (1)

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4:28pm Wed 30 Jul 14

realistic southstander says...

Oh for an aggressive pack of forwards and a skilled play-maker! It's no good turning on the style for one minute out of eighty. Hope that all this is noted and something is done about it before next season. This season is very much on a knife's edge.
Oh for an aggressive pack of forwards and a skilled play-maker! It's no good turning on the style for one minute out of eighty. Hope that all this is noted and something is done about it before next season. This season is very much on a knife's edge. realistic southstander
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