FULL TIME: Warrington Wolves 8 St Helens 38

FULL TIME: Warrington Wolves 8 St Helens 38

Wolves boss Tony Smith. Pictures by Mike Boden

Ben Westwood drives Wolves forward

No way through for Richie Myler on his 100th club appearance

Ben Evans in the thick of things on his Super League debut for Wolves

First published in Wolves news
Last updated
Warrington Guardian: by , Sports Editor

WARRINGTON Wolves’ 2014 campaign got off to the poorest start for many a season tonight.

After Saints struck with a triple whammy of tries early in the first half, Wolves could do nothing right.

While Luke Walsh, Saints’ new scrum half from Penrith Panthers, ran the show behind a dominant pack, Wolves looked like a ship without a rudder.

Gareth O’Brien’s introduction brought some steadiness to Warrington’s play but with Saints’ defence looking sharp and strong the contest looked over by the break.

It is early days, and every decision went Saints way under the lenient officialdom of Phil Bentham, but the lack of penetration was a concern, as was the fact that Saints looked a yard faster and a stone heavier per man.

Two late Saints’ tries did not put a false reflection on the scoreline and Tony Smith has got work to do with his breed of 2014.

Wolves got the start they wanted, scoring their first try of 2014 after just 99 seconds.

Willie Manu’s knock-on deep inside his own half gave the home side chance to shape up from a scrum.

After Roy Asotasi was held up five metres short, a long wide ball to the right from Michael Monaghan found Chris Bridge in enough space to squeeze a killer pass to Joel Monaghan and last season’s top try scorer flew over in the corner despite the covering attempts of Adam Swift.

Stefan Ratchford got plenty of weight and height behind his touchline conversion attempt, kicking into a stiff breeze, but his effort steered wide to leave it at 4-0.

Three dubious decisions from referee Phil Bentham went Saints’ way in the build-up to their 12th minute reply. This sponsorship with Specsavers for the officials is clearly not working!

After Saints got on the front foot from the first penalty of the game, there seemed to be a knock-on that Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook got away with and after Wolves’ scrambling defence held out Ryan Atkins was pulled up for a knock-on that seemed to go backwards.

From the next set, Turner skilfully offloaded around Chris Riley for Tommy Makinson to dive over in the corner but the pass looked forward. Luke Walsh’s goal from the touchline put Saints two points clear.

The visitors were soon 12-4 in front, stand off Gary Wheeler being given the room to change his direction twice before feeding James Roby through a hole to the left of the sticks. Walsh’s extras put Saints in control after 16 minutes.

It soon got worse for Wolves, who felt aggrieved that Turner was not considered to have knocked on from the re-start.

A Walsh 40/20 paved the way for former Wakefield prop Kyle Amor to stretch his arm out of an almost completed tackle by Atkins and Trent Waterhouse. Walsh’s extras made it 18-4 to complete a rotten spell without a touch of the ball for Tony Smith’s side.

Wolves were rattled and dishevelled, seemingly unable to put two passes together as they tried to find a way back against a Saints defence buoyed by their scores and firing on all cylinders.

No protection was coming Wolves’ way from Bentham either as Sia Soliola committed a high tackle that looked a credible red card offence but not a word was said with the Samoan, just a penalty.

And a Jon Wilkin high tackle on Chris Riley came soon after.

Wolves only looked as though they were finding some rhythm again when Gareth O’Brien arrived on the field, getting a grip of organising the shape and structure as well as steering the side around the field.

But they still never looked like getting over the try line and the first-half scoring was completed with a Walsh penalty goal stemming from calamitous defending, with Chris Riley and Stefan Ratchford getting in each other’s way attempting to take a high kick.

Turning around 20-4 behind was something of a mountain to climb based on how the last 30 minutes of the opening period had panned out.

And the climb got a little steeper 80 seconds into the second period, Anthony Laffranchi charging over from close range after Saints had won possession from a charge down. Walsh’s extras pushed Saints to 26-4.

A fortuitous consolation try came Wolves’ way when O’Brien’s high kick rebounded back into play off the right post at the east end and he was able to retrieve possession and put Joel Monaghan over for his second score.

But Saints had the final say with Adam Swift crossing in the left corner and Walsh capping his Saints debut with an interception try from a Ben Westwood pass, as well as adding his own conversion.

Saints fans, never ones to show any mercy, lapped it up and even broke out in cheeky chants of ‘going down, going down’.

As unlikely as that is, it would still have hurt after an opening night performance like this.

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Joel Monaghan, Chris Bridge, Ryan Atkins, Chris Riley; Michael Monaghan, Richie Myler; Chris Hill, Micky Higham, Roy Asotasi, Ben Westwood, Trent Waterhouse, Ben Currie. Subs: Ben Evans, James Laithwaite, Gareth O’Brien, Glenn Riley.

Saints: Jonny Lomax; Tommy Makinson, Jordan Turnr, Mark Percival, Adam Swift; Gary Wheeler, Luke Walsh; Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Willie Manu, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: Anthony Laffranchi, Sia Soliola, Josh Jones, Paul Wellens.

Comments (28)

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10:05pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Cheap Mower says...

Shocking performance, clueless in attack
Shocking performance, clueless in attack Cheap Mower
  • Score: 8

10:32pm Thu 13 Feb 14

akabaz says...

All the gear but no idea, worst performance for many a year,
All the gear but no idea, worst performance for many a year, akabaz
  • Score: 9

10:41pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Redhillwire says...

We've not been quite strong enough to win the league in the last two seasons. It's still early days, but to me this looks like a weaker squad. We need a top quality half back and a top quality centre. Instead we signed an unproven full back, a prop as old as a great prop we released, a winger who wasn't as good as Riley and hope to strike it lucky with a 26 year old prop from the championship. to replace the best British forward of the last twenty years. Who is gonna turn it around? GOB?

We could do worse than getting Myler off the salary cap. He isn't good enough to win us the league.
We've not been quite strong enough to win the league in the last two seasons. It's still early days, but to me this looks like a weaker squad. We need a top quality half back and a top quality centre. Instead we signed an unproven full back, a prop as old as a great prop we released, a winger who wasn't as good as Riley and hope to strike it lucky with a 26 year old prop from the championship. to replace the best British forward of the last twenty years. Who is gonna turn it around? GOB? We could do worse than getting Myler off the salary cap. He isn't good enough to win us the league. Redhillwire
  • Score: 5

10:42pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Bewseylad says...

Complete lack of ideas and no structure. It's going to be a long hard season. Like watching Utd. under Moyes.
Complete lack of ideas and no structure. It's going to be a long hard season. Like watching Utd. under Moyes. Bewseylad
  • Score: 6

10:46pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Cheap Mower says...

Luke Walsh showed us the type of player we're missing.
Luke Walsh showed us the type of player we're missing. Cheap Mower
  • Score: 10

10:52pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Cheap Mower says...

I'd like to see Penny given a shot over Riley
I'd like to see Penny given a shot over Riley Cheap Mower
  • Score: 5

11:04pm Thu 13 Feb 14

muckerman says...

Saints are nothing special and they will win nothing again...we were just disgraceful.
Depressing stuff.
Saints are nothing special and they will win nothing again...we were just disgraceful. Depressing stuff. muckerman
  • Score: 0

11:06pm Thu 13 Feb 14

dnk says...

We were shocking, no organiser,no creator and no leader.we were outplayed in every department.penny needs to be given a chance over Riley ,Myler didnt inspire the pack , who were completely outmuscled.we need another halfback.This season is a write off, we are rebuilding, some spirited performances from Glenn Riley and Ben Evans.Smith needs to sort out the left wing as it is ineffective .
We were shocking, no organiser,no creator and no leader.we were outplayed in every department.penny needs to be given a chance over Riley ,Myler didnt inspire the pack , who were completely outmuscled.we need another halfback.This season is a write off, we are rebuilding, some spirited performances from Glenn Riley and Ben Evans.Smith needs to sort out the left wing as it is ineffective . dnk
  • Score: 8

11:12pm Thu 13 Feb 14

MAD 4 IT says...

NOT fit to wear the shirt !
NOT fit to wear the shirt ! MAD 4 IT
  • Score: 8

11:15pm Thu 13 Feb 14

MAD 4 IT says...

michael monoghan is not a half-back ! GIVE "KEVIN PENNY" a chance ! drop riley !
michael monoghan is not a half-back ! GIVE "KEVIN PENNY" a chance ! drop riley ! MAD 4 IT
  • Score: 7

11:18pm Thu 13 Feb 14

MAD 4 IT says...

"when" our forwards have the ball, they should have hit saints ALOT HARDER !
"when" our forwards have the ball, they should have hit saints ALOT HARDER ! MAD 4 IT
  • Score: 6

7:51am Fri 14 Feb 14

KJB1953 says...

absolute shambles tonight,so much for all this warm weather training in australia ( jolly in the sun ) perhaps a rethink next season with 2 weeks on the penines shorts and t shirts because too many of them looked as though they wished they were in a warmer climate. Performance wise it was one of the poorest I have ever seen and as for the world class prop bring back carvell and cooper
absolute shambles tonight,so much for all this warm weather training in australia ( jolly in the sun ) perhaps a rethink next season with 2 weeks on the penines shorts and t shirts because too many of them looked as though they wished they were in a warmer climate. Performance wise it was one of the poorest I have ever seen and as for the world class prop bring back carvell and cooper KJB1953
  • Score: 6

8:52am Fri 14 Feb 14

tomthebrick says...

it was no briers no brains now its no briers lots of tears sad but true
it was no briers no brains now its no briers lots of tears sad but true tomthebrick
  • Score: 6

10:12am Fri 14 Feb 14

ninearches says...

Leaderless, clueless & rudderless......stil
l plenty of good players out there but no one to organise them into an effective team on the pitch ,& no way is Ratchford a full back or Monas a halfback. We were bullied on the field by a Saints side who are really nothing special but whose confidence grew & grew as the match wore on. I think some strange decisions have been made about the 2014 squad & we seem a lot weaker than previous seasons under Smith.
Leaderless, clueless & rudderless......stil l plenty of good players out there but no one to organise them into an effective team on the pitch ,& no way is Ratchford a full back or Monas a halfback. We were bullied on the field by a Saints side who are really nothing special but whose confidence grew & grew as the match wore on. I think some strange decisions have been made about the 2014 squad & we seem a lot weaker than previous seasons under Smith. ninearches
  • Score: -1

10:34am Fri 14 Feb 14

roquetas says...

I agree with all the above comments we were terrible. No better. Signings than the ones That have left warri this year
I agree with all the above comments we were terrible. No better. Signings than the ones That have left warri this year roquetas
  • Score: 3

10:40am Fri 14 Feb 14

akabaz says...

Headless chicken,s is a term that comes to mind
Headless chicken,s is a term that comes to mind akabaz
  • Score: 5

11:09am Fri 14 Feb 14

wolfitdown says...

Agree with all the above but it's early days the new players will need a little time to settle with the others needing time also to adjust, O'Brien needs more game time with Myler needing to step up and some mongrel in the pack.
Walsh ran the show he reminded me of Briers great kicking but faster, definitely man of the match.
Agree with all the above but it's early days the new players will need a little time to settle with the others needing time also to adjust, O'Brien needs more game time with Myler needing to step up and some mongrel in the pack. Walsh ran the show he reminded me of Briers great kicking but faster, definitely man of the match. wolfitdown
  • Score: 3

11:32am Fri 14 Feb 14

mrwolf says...

Early days yet but got to say the forwards looked tired throughout the game. Riley is not on form and needs a few weeks on the tackle bags in my opinion, Was frustratring because we have a great pack however the lack of communication and errors was comical to watch at times. A positive thought to end on though mr Asotasi looked very good strong running, hungry for the ball and good tackle completion!!
Early days yet but got to say the forwards looked tired throughout the game. Riley is not on form and needs a few weeks on the tackle bags in my opinion, Was frustratring because we have a great pack however the lack of communication and errors was comical to watch at times. A positive thought to end on though mr Asotasi looked very good strong running, hungry for the ball and good tackle completion!! mrwolf
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Jimmcbride says...

I'd want my money back if I was daft enough to support such Dross
I'd want my money back if I was daft enough to support such Dross Jimmcbride
  • Score: -4

4:36pm Fri 14 Feb 14

suttonwire says...

Luke Walsh was nothing special in the NRL just a good club player but last night he was made to look like a superstar. He organised the Saints play and Wire had no answer couple that with poor defence and non existent attack the result was a foregone conclusion. We need a half back who has a kicking game and a goal kicker as well another area we are lacking "I don't think Jonathan Thurston is available". With the length of time representatives of the cub were in Aussie you would have thought they could find someone. If we remain as we are it's going to be a long season.
Luke Walsh was nothing special in the NRL just a good club player but last night he was made to look like a superstar. He organised the Saints play and Wire had no answer couple that with poor defence and non existent attack the result was a foregone conclusion. We need a half back who has a kicking game and a goal kicker as well another area we are lacking "I don't think Jonathan Thurston is available". With the length of time representatives of the cub were in Aussie you would have thought they could find someone. If we remain as we are it's going to be a long season. suttonwire
  • Score: 3

8:17pm Fri 14 Feb 14

grey-area says...

First game - very poor performance against an average team
The real problem is if they don't learn from it and improve the teamwork quickly. If not - relegation? Get a grip boys.
First game - very poor performance against an average team The real problem is if they don't learn from it and improve the teamwork quickly. If not - relegation? Get a grip boys. grey-area
  • Score: 2

10:31pm Fri 14 Feb 14

MAD 4 IT says...

we "PAYING" fans deserve better ! WE BACKED YOU & THATS THE THANKS WILL GET !! worse performance for about 8 YEARS ! reminded me of the old "PATHETIC" side we had 8 years ago !
we "PAYING" fans deserve better ! WE BACKED YOU & THATS THE THANKS WILL GET !! worse performance for about 8 YEARS ! reminded me of the old "PATHETIC" side we had 8 years ago ! MAD 4 IT
  • Score: 1

10:14am Sat 15 Feb 14

MAD 4 IT says...

KEVIN PENNY "MUST" play at leeds !!! otherwise we will be "LUCKY" to get a crowd of 7,000 ! DROP "RILEY" dont know how he managed to stay on the wing for so long ! HE GOT NO SPEED ! KEVIN PENNY has plenty of SPEED !! RILEY used to be a good fullback ! but in the grand final he was terrible ! A STINT at "swinton lions" will be a "WAKE-UP" call !!!!
KEVIN PENNY "MUST" play at leeds !!! otherwise we will be "LUCKY" to get a crowd of 7,000 ! DROP "RILEY" dont know how he managed to stay on the wing for so long ! HE GOT NO SPEED ! KEVIN PENNY has plenty of SPEED !! RILEY used to be a good fullback ! but in the grand final he was terrible ! A STINT at "swinton lions" will be a "WAKE-UP" call !!!! MAD 4 IT
  • Score: 1

10:15am Sat 15 Feb 14

MAD 4 IT says...

play "KEVIN PENNY" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
play "KEVIN PENNY" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAD 4 IT
  • Score: 3

2:50pm Sat 15 Feb 14

MAD 4 IT says...

DISGRACE ! WAKE UP "WIRE" !
DISGRACE ! WAKE UP "WIRE" ! MAD 4 IT
  • Score: 2

2:26pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Crofty11 says...

wolfitdown wrote:
Agree with all the above but it's early days the new players will need a little time to settle with the others needing time also to adjust, O'Brien needs more game time with Myler needing to step up and some mongrel in the pack.
Walsh ran the show he reminded me of Briers great kicking but faster, definitely man of the match.
Myler will never have a hb partnership with O'brien....myler wants to be the superstar & won't allow O'brien to develop. On Thursday O'brien arranged the players, then myler re-arranged it then Monaghan did what he wanted, no wonder they looked like they didn't know what they were doing. When briers was on the pitch the players listened to him., they didn't know Who to listen to against saints!
[quote][p][bold]wolfitdown[/bold] wrote: Agree with all the above but it's early days the new players will need a little time to settle with the others needing time also to adjust, O'Brien needs more game time with Myler needing to step up and some mongrel in the pack. Walsh ran the show he reminded me of Briers great kicking but faster, definitely man of the match.[/p][/quote]Myler will never have a hb partnership with O'brien....myler wants to be the superstar & won't allow O'brien to develop. On Thursday O'brien arranged the players, then myler re-arranged it then Monaghan did what he wanted, no wonder they looked like they didn't know what they were doing. When briers was on the pitch the players listened to him., they didn't know Who to listen to against saints! Crofty11
  • Score: 3

4:21pm Mon 17 Feb 14

wolfitdown says...

Crofty11. They can listen all they want this season for Briers trust me they will not hear him, nor will his win ratio against Sts inspire the team, O'Brien did a half decent job under the circumstances Myler tried a few things but was closed down Mona's we all agree is not a half, on another post I said TS's biggest problem is getting the halves sorted with Myler having to take on more responsibility if as you suggest the problem is Myler then leave him out, as it stands I feel O'Brien must be given a chance to prove himself as I can't see Myler anywhere other than 7 but agree with you we have a problem at the moment.
Crofty11. They can listen all they want this season for Briers trust me they will not hear him, nor will his win ratio against Sts inspire the team, O'Brien did a half decent job under the circumstances Myler tried a few things but was closed down Mona's we all agree is not a half, on another post I said TS's biggest problem is getting the halves sorted with Myler having to take on more responsibility if as you suggest the problem is Myler then leave him out, as it stands I feel O'Brien must be given a chance to prove himself as I can't see Myler anywhere other than 7 but agree with you we have a problem at the moment. wolfitdown
  • Score: 2

4:37pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Crofty11 says...

wolfitdown wrote:
Crofty11. They can listen all they want this season for Briers trust me they will not hear him, nor will his win ratio against Sts inspire the team, O'Brien did a half decent job under the circumstances Myler tried a few things but was closed down Mona's we all agree is not a half, on another post I said TS's biggest problem is getting the halves sorted with Myler having to take on more responsibility if as you suggest the problem is Myler then leave him out, as it stands I feel O'Brien must be given a chance to prove himself as I can't see Myler anywhere other than 7 but agree with you we have a problem at the moment.
One of the biggest differences to me on Thursday was saints played as a team, with Walsh organising everything, we were out kicked, out played & out spirited. Warrington has a couple of 'wannabe' superstars who go missing when it gets tough. I don't think O'brien will get a run in the team, well maybe until Russell is fit to play, then he'll be dropped. We need a halfback pairing who work together, not one who wants to outshine the other. I hope Russell plays fb, & ratchford & o' brien in the halves, maybe then the rest of the team will do their bit as I don't feel it's all down to who plays fb/hb
[quote][p][bold]wolfitdown[/bold] wrote: Crofty11. They can listen all they want this season for Briers trust me they will not hear him, nor will his win ratio against Sts inspire the team, O'Brien did a half decent job under the circumstances Myler tried a few things but was closed down Mona's we all agree is not a half, on another post I said TS's biggest problem is getting the halves sorted with Myler having to take on more responsibility if as you suggest the problem is Myler then leave him out, as it stands I feel O'Brien must be given a chance to prove himself as I can't see Myler anywhere other than 7 but agree with you we have a problem at the moment.[/p][/quote]One of the biggest differences to me on Thursday was saints played as a team, with Walsh organising everything, we were out kicked, out played & out spirited. Warrington has a couple of 'wannabe' superstars who go missing when it gets tough. I don't think O'brien will get a run in the team, well maybe until Russell is fit to play, then he'll be dropped. We need a halfback pairing who work together, not one who wants to outshine the other. I hope Russell plays fb, & ratchford & o' brien in the halves, maybe then the rest of the team will do their bit as I don't feel it's all down to who plays fb/hb Crofty11
  • Score: 1

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