Warrington GuardianSPIRIT OF '55: United like last year (From Warrington Guardian)

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SPIRIT OF '55: United like last year

Warrington Guardian: Albert Naughton, skipper of Wolves' last champion team in 1955 Albert Naughton, skipper of Wolves' last champion team in 1955

YOU expect signs of rustiness in the opening game of the season, while hoping the cobwebs will be blown away soon enough to start with a win.

We witnessed both of these against Castleford, the bizarre thing being the cobwebs were blown away straight away, then the signs of rustiness came.

For the first 15 minutes or so Wire looked as good as they did at any point last season.

First of all the left side looked devastating, in particular when Simon Grix found a great angle of run to break through the line in the set immediately after the opening try by Chris Riley. Grix’s break resulted in Ryan Atkins being sent into the clear and he never looked like being caught.

Not much later Richie Myler danced through the defence to bag a try for himself.

Not to be outdone, the right side of Ben Westwood, Rhys Evans and Joel Monaghan started to produce tries of their own - the highlight being the basketball like handling skills from Monaghan and Evans that produced the try of the match, scored by Westwood.

There were a couple of surprises in the starting 13, Grix being selected in the left second row slot ahead of Trent Waterhouse. Based on his performances at the back end of last season, Grix’s selection was much deserved.

Then Evans, at centre ahead of Stefan Ratchford and Chris Bridge, was the other slight surprise. He more than justified his selection.

Building up such a big lead so quickly allowed for some experimentation, whether it was pre-planned or not.

Waterhouse did some of the donkey work at prop for the first time as a Wire. Also Ratchford came on to replace Briers, maybe giving us a glimpse of a half-back partnership of the future.

The most pleasing thing about the present was Michael Monaghan running freer than he did at any point last season.

It was a classic performance from last season in a few ways.

They weren’t as good as they would like to be for the whole match, but when they were good they were excellent and more than good enough to win the match.

Overall their defence was more impressive than their attack, spending a lot of time defending their line with all the organisation and desire that they showed so much last year.

The most important common theme from last year was that they clearly are still united with that great team spirit.

Spirit of '55

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