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SPIRIT OF '55: Warrington Wolves are looking so fresh
10:06am Tuesday 14th August 2012 in Wolves news
IN Olympic fortnight, when all the athletes are trying to peak for one glorious moment of a four year cycle, Warrington seem to be timing their attempt to reach peak performance to perfection.
Two highly impressive wins in the space of five days, over the first and third placed teams.
Just like against St Helens on Monday night, this wasn’t just a win on the scoreboard it was a dominant performance, leaving their opposition in no doubt as to who was the better team on the day.
Whether the timing of the announcement of all the contract renewals was a deliberate ploy or not, it was a great example of how united this squad are.
Squad being the key word this season, so many players have had plenty of game time this season and all have looked up to the job.
This has led to a freshness about the team for this time of year, it has also created a desperation for each individual to play their best every week in order to make them first choice for the biggest games.
Over the last couple of months or so, Wire have regained that tendency from last season of getting off to flying starts.
A good start against Wigan is particularly useful because it has the added effect of throwing Wigan completely out of their comfort zone, because they are so used to getting in front early and bullying their opposition from there.
This match did have that look of a bully in the playground having someone stronger than them stand up to them, leaving the bully with no idea how to respond.
As with many times this season it was the defence that laid the foundations for the victory.
Wigan’s normally dominant go forward was virtually non-existent, and as any team would they found it nearly impossible to create the attacking plays they would have liked to in the absence of that gained yardage and quick play the balls.
It was one of those occasions where the scoreboard was a great reflection of the game itself.
Thirty points to ten, and Warrington were three times better than Wigan, three times better in defence, three times better in attack, three times more in unison, three times more aggressive and always looked at least three more times likely to score.
Friday in London might well be another occasion for Tony Smith to rest some of his players and hope not to get caught out.
The thing that must be most pleasing for him is that no players are giving him a reason not to pick them for Wembley and the play-offs to follow.
As always the forwards laid the foundation in both attack and defence and the backs revelled in the space that was created for them.
Having two top notch hookers in great form has really added to the team’s performance, both of them experts in getting the pack going forward.
When the sport’s biggest prizes are handed out after one off occasions then you can never guarantee success, all you can do is do everything to get yourself in the best possible form and physical condition for those moments and from what we can see Wire are in great shape on both counts.
Hopefully Tony Smith will feel like a Gold Cup jockey sat on a thoroughbred, coming to the second last fence, pulling level with the leader and feeling that his horse has plenty left in its legs for the sprint for the line soon enough.
Spirit of 55