HEADING to St Helens with a place at Old Trafford at stake while being written off in all quarters…we’ve been here before, haven’t we?

Six years ago, the tale was remarkably similar.

The Wire were beaten convincingly at home by St Helens in Super League’s qualifying semi-final, but the structure of the day gave them another shot at their neighbours in two weeks’ time.

Nobody gave them a chance going to Langtree Park, but they put in a resounding display to win 36-18 and book a spot in their first ever Super League Grand Final.

Admittedly, the situations for both sides were remarkably different back then – Wolves were riding the crest of a wave having won their third Challenge Cup in four years while Saints hobbled through the season under the interim stewardship of Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham.

I am not for one minute suggesting that this is fate and people at Wolves have been quick to play comparisons down, but there is perhaps a spirit there from which things can be drawn.

Five of The Wire’s current squad – Chris Hill, Stefan Ratchford, Mike Cooper, Ben Westwood and Ryan Atkins – were in Tony Smith’s team that night, as was assistant coach Lee Briers.

It is a similar story for Saints – James Roby, Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax, Jon Wilkin and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook will all remember that fateful evening.

At the very least, they can look back at that game and know it can be done. The odds can be – and often are – defied.

It is clear from talking to people within the club – be that players, coaches or board members – that they are at ease with being massive outsiders for tonight’s clash.

However, it will be a new feeling for them in terms of big games this season.

In all the games of massive significance The Wire have played in 2018, I do not think they have been so widely written off.

They were heavy favourites in the Challenge Cup semi-final and final and it resulted in two completely different performances.

Even in games against Wigan and Saints throughout the season, they were slight outsiders at worst. We are yet to see what the underdog tag brings out of this Warrington Wolves side.

If we see a performance similar to the one we saw against Justin Holbrook’s side two weeks ago, we will be contemplating a semi-final exit tomorrow. Of that, there is no question.

However, if The Wire play as they did on their last visit to the Totally Wicked Stadium – dominance up front and a vice-like grip of the ruck – they will give themselves a great chance.

That, plus the control from the halves we have seen all too sporadically this year, is what is needed if they are to pull off what we are led to believe is the seemingly impossible.