SOME Wolves fans may be surprised by the next sentence.

Tony Smith’s men are already two points better off than last year.

This is with reference to like-for-like matches.

In 2013, Wolves lost at home to St Helens (22-10) and fell at Leeds Rhinos (28-22) – as they also did in the opening two rounds of Super League XIX.

But Warrington also failed to win at home to Hull (26-16). Not this season though, courtesy of the weekend’s narrow success.

I accept it is a positive spin on the primrose and blue team’s start to the campaign, one that has caused concern for lack of all-round form and apparent difficulty in finding a way over the whitewash.

There are signs of steady improvements in those areas too, with three tries against Hull being the best return of the season so far.

And we have seen some players who have made slow starts begin to show they are finding their sharpness.

Although players were talking about a ‘fast start’ in the build up to round one, the opening to the campaign was surely always going to be tough against three clubs with their own top-four ambitions.

The well documented departures, the dozen or so players battling to get back into the groove after close-season operations, overseas marquee signing Roy Asotasi finding his feet in his new environment and three players yet to figure after injuries – Matty Russell, Paul Wood and Ben Harrison.

While the opening rounds have been somewhat frustrating considering some of the rugby the team has produced in recent years, a game of chess is unfolding each week and it is an intriguing watch.