Text us your news! Start your message Warrington News and send any photos or videos to 80360
GUARDIAN VERDICT: St Helens 16 Warrington Wolves 29
IF Warrington Wolves ever needed a huge performance, it was last Friday at Langtree Park.
Not for securing second place, or even getting one over on the old enemy to maintain dominance at their new home.
But because defeat, or any partial repeat of the dire Wire witnessed against Vikings, would have radically altered the mood of the players, coaches and the whole town.
Belief is so crucial at this stage of the season.
If Leeds’ remarkable ability to win Grand Finals from the relative obscurity of fifth place has taught us anything, it is this.
And the manner of victory in St Helens was the boost Warrington needed at just the right time.
Lose and you are staring down the barrel of back-to-back defeats against two local rivals who have far from ripped up the competition this season, regardless of Saints’ recent improvement.
Lose and you are entering the final game of the regular season desperately trying to scrape together some momentum before knock-out rugby begins and Le Stade Gilbert Brutus is one of the last places you want to go in that instance.
Instead Wolves can fly to France buoyed by the optimism that comes from such a turnaround, the way their forwards dominated Saints’ pack early on and how the team defended doggedly when called to do so.
The result changes the whole outlook on the play-offs, with the loss to Widnes now just a dot on the horizon and a timely kick up the backside from which valuable lessons have been learned.
There were also lots of positives to take individually.
Stefan Ratchford once again showed why full back should be considered his preferred position in the future, reading the game well and returning kicks with energy and pace.
Lee Briers and his superb kicks made a very welcome return, while Micky Higham once again demonstrated why Wolves’ trio of first team coaches made him the club’s player of the season.
The performance also raises an interesting question.
If you were Wigan or Leeds would you fight for a win that would ensure a trip to The Halliwell Jones in week one, or perhaps be happy to roll over and accept a trip to Huddersfield instead?
The 29-16 victory maintained Warrington Wolves’ unbeaten record at Saints’ Langtree Park ground, having won all three of their games played at the stadium.
Warrington have won their last three games against Catalan Dragons, with the French outfit last tasting victory against the Wolves on April 9, 2012.
Chris Bridge needs two tries to reach a career century of touchdowns.
Joel Monaghan sits second in the Super League try scoring charts with 23, behind Wigan’s Josh Charnley.
Super League Round 26
Friday, August 31, 2013
Saints: Jonny Lomax; Tommy Makinson, Jordan Turner, Francis Meli, Adam Swift; Jon Wilkin, Lance Hohaia; Tony Puletua, Stuart Howarth, Anthony Laffranchi, Josh Jones, Anthony Walker, Willie Manu. Subs: Paul Wellens, Sia Soliola, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Alex Walmsley.
Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Joel Monaghan, Chris Bridge, Rhys Evans, Chris Riley; Lee Briers, Simon Grix; Chris Hill, Micky Higham, Paul Wood, Trent Waterhouse, Ben Westwood, Ben Harrison. Subs: Adrian Morley, Michael Monaghan, Garreth Carvell, Mike Cooper.
Scoring: Joel Monagham try, 3mins, 4-0; Evans try, 8mins, Ratchford goal, 10-0; Higham try, 14mins, Ratchford goal, 16-0; Waterhouse try, 24mins, Ratchford goal, 22-0; Turner try, 28mins, Lomax goal, 22-6; Swift try, 38mins, 22-10; Lomax try, 55mins, Lomax goal, 22-16; Briers drop goal, 66mins, 23-16; Carvell try, 78mins, Ratchford goal, 29-16.
Penalties: Saints 6 Wolves 8
Referee: Richard Silverwood
Top Man: Micky Higham
Comments are closed on this article.