Text us your news! Start your message Warrington News and send any photos or videos to 80360
SPIRIT OF '55: On the edge of glory
11:00am Monday 24th September 2012 in Wolves news
THE dream is still alive, the quest for both ultimate glory and the complete 80-minute performance is still in progress.
From the start against Hull it looked like the emphasis all week had been on defence, Wire looked determined to be solid and dominating when they didn’t have the ball.
Handling errors did still occur, but at least none of them resulted in tries for the opposition this week.
The better your defence is the more you can get away with handling errors.
I remember watching big play-off games in years gone by, between top teams when Warrington’s dreams for the year had long since died.
What always struck me was that it was the defence of the two teams that was where they were so much better than Warrington.
Now Wire have the organisation and, much more importantly, the desire to defend well for 80 minutes, they always have a chance of beating anybody.
If they’ve learned anything from this game I hope it’s that they don’t have to force tries to happen as soon as they get beyond their opponents 20-metre line.
The first try came about when they used up all their tackles on Hull’s line, then an excellent kick from Briers and an enthusiastic chase resulted in a try for Waterhouse.
Myler’s try followed, when Wire had switched the ball from left to right, stretching Hull’s defence to breaking point, the result being a chasm of a gap for Myler to run through as the ball was moved back to the left.
In the second half a bit of magic from Ratchford in broken play created a try out of nothing.
Then a simple, well supported break down the middle created the final try for Hodgson.
Obviously none of these tries would’ve happened had they lost the ball, looking for a miracle pass, earlier in those sets.
Wire have to back themselves to score enough tries to win any game if they consistently give themselves six chances to score whenever they get inside their opponents 20-metre line.
With Briers’ kicking game, Hodgson’s creativity out wide and several dangerous runners Warrington are at least as well equipped as any team to turn territorial pressure into points.
This was a composed performance that went some way towards disproving the theory that Warrington will always ‘bottle it’ in the play-offs.
Hull were gradually ground down and they never looked like winning, despite displaying a strong spirit themselves and being backed by a strong and passionate following.
Composure and patience were on display from Wire, but that’s not to say that there weren’t any trademark offloads.
In fact there were some really good offloads, the sort where the ball carrier is in complete control of the ball and the supporting player is expecting the ball and the more of those type of offloads, the better.
Other than not being at their slick best in attack, this was an impressive Wire performance in a match that truly mattered.
The most worrying thing about the attack was the signs of hesitancy when moving the ball wide near Hull’s line, as if they weren’t convinced they were taking the best option and that their timing with each other was a little off.
Maybe they are saving the two best performances for last.
Another worrying sign is the knocks and injuries are starting to mount up a little, Michael Monaghan and Briers are probably the two players we’d least want to do without, so seeing them both down injured for a while was not good.
Then late on Myler, whose late season good form continues, also went down injured.
Hopefully Westwood and Carvell will be back for the semi final as they have both been missed.
However, the positive way to look at it is that there is no such thing as injury problems, only opportunities for other players to shine.
So we are not playing our best, picking up a few injuries, have a reputation for losing our nerve in the play-offs, Leeds are defending champions, play-off experts and in good form they have had an extra days rest compared to Warrington.
Yet despite all this Wigan still chose to play Leeds. We can’t be doing too badly.
Two wins, just two more wins from everything the players, coaches and fans have dreamed of.
Firstly we have to go to St Helens, it’ll be either repeat or revenge.
Over the course of the season I’ve made reference to a song from Kelly Clarkson and one from Journey, now it’s time for a bit of Lady Gaga – Edge of Glory.
Spirit of '55