On Sunday 31 March 1996, Warrington played their first ever Super League game, winning 22-18 at Leeds.

Here, we bring you 25 facts… all relating to Super League games.

1 – In the beginning

New Zealand centre Toa Kohe-Love made his debut for the club in that game. A Tongan, Mateaki Mafi, scores our first ever Super League try.

2 – Number up

Our game the following week against Workington Town sees squad numbers used for the first time.

3 – Recycled plastic

Lose in the land of the Giants, as the match in May 1998 at Huddersfield Giants is the first to be played on an all plastic pitch, with a liberal sprinkling of sand!

4 – Game of the century

Warrington entertain Huddersfield Giants in September 1998 to mark the centenary of the Wilderspool ground. Before the match there is a parade of Past Players led by the oldest, 91 year old Bill Shankland.

Bill Shankland leads a parade of past players as The Wire celebrate 100 years at Wilderspool in 1998

5 – Oh sit down

Winger Rob Smyth scores four tries on his debut, in July 2000, but still have a shock loss to Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants, and there is a sit-down protest after the final whistle by 200 fans at Wilderspool.

6 – Lets drop in

Lee Briers drops a record five goals at Halifax Blue Sox in May 2002, and is still on the losing side!

7 – The heat is on

June 2002 sees Wakefield pair Ben Westwood and Nathan Wood make their Warrington debuts. The game against London Broncos was transferred from Brentford (as their ground was needed for re-seeding), to Carcassonne, in France. Temperatures reach 100 F, and so intense is the heat, that the game is played in four quarters.

Warrington Guardian:

Nat Wood made his debut against London Broncos at a scorching Carcassone. Picture by Mike Boden

8 – Points to prove

The most points by a Warrington player is 34, by Australian stand-off Graham Appo. He scores four tries and 9 goals against Halifax in July 2003.

Warrington Guardian:

Graham Appo's 34-point haul against Halifax in 2003 is the most by a Wire player in a Super League match. Picture by Mike Boden

9 – Farewell Wilderspool

An emotionally charged day on 21 September 2003 sees Warrington beat Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 52-12 to say ‘Farewell to Wilderspool.’ A new kits of primrose and blue stripes for the occasion has to be changed at half time after they start falling apart!

Warrington Guardian:

Paul Cullen salutes the crowd after The Wire's last game at Wilderspool Stadium in 2003

10 – Lock out

The 21 February 2004, sees a new era in Warrington’s history begin, with the first game at the new Halliwell Jones Stadium, against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. A capacity crowd, with fans locked out, see Nathan Wood score the first try. Mike Forshaw becomes our oldest debutant in Super League at 34 years and 47 days.

11 – AJ

A sensational Andrew Johns debut takes place against Leeds Rhinos in September 2005, before a packed house. The Aussie superstar wears squad number 31, his age at the time, and his contribution is 13 points in a Warrington win 33-16.

12 – Comeback kings

March 2006 – and Warrington come back from being 0-21 at half-time, to eventually beat Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 22-21.

13 – We reign in Spain

The venue is the Barcelona Olympic Stadium, the date is 20 June 2009, the crowd is 18,150, and the victory is Warrington’s over Catalans Dragons by 24-12. It is the first Super League game to be played in Spain, and around 1,500 Warrington fans make the worthwhile trip.

Warrington Guardian:

Wire fans descended on Barcelona to watch their side take on Catalans in 2009. Picture by Mike Boden

14 – The X-factor

Local lad winger Chris Riley becomes the first Warrington player to score five tries in a Super League match, in February 2010 against Harlequins RL, at the HJS. Skipper Adrian Morley plays despite having only one hour sleep, helping his partner Clare give birth to a baby daughter. Perhaps they were inspired by Irish X-factor duo Jedward who were the pre-match entertainment!

15 – Birthday Blues

On the 12 February 2011 Brett Hodgson, the Australian full-back, from Liverpool (a suburb in Sydney!), is the only Warrington SL player to make his debut on his birthday. Unfortunately his former team Huddersfield Giants put a dampener on his 33rd celebrations, by beating the ‘Wire’ at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

16 – Goals galore

March 2011 sees Brett Hodgson kick a record 13 goals as Harlequins RL are trounced 82-6, our biggest win in SL.

17 – Hi Five

Joel Monaghan (May 2012) equals the record by scoring five tries, against Widnes Vikings, at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

Joel Monaghan scores one of his five tries as Widnes were thrashed at the 2012 Magic Weekend. Picture by Mike Boden

Joel Monaghan scores one of his five tries as Widnes were thrashed at the 2012 Magic Weekend. Picture by Mike Boden

18 – Good Evans

The fastest try at the HJ is scored in July 2014 by Welsh winger Rhys Evans, against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, and is timed after only 28 seconds.

19 – Brothers in arms

Warrington coach Tony Smith and his 13 year older brother Brian, who is coach at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, oppose each other for the first time, in July 2015. Despite Wakefield’s Jacob Miller scoring four tries, Tony wins the bragging rights, with a 40-20 victory.

20 – Six appeal

Six players make their debut at Leeds Rhinos, in the opening game of the 2016 season, the most in any SL match. They are Kurt Gidley, Jack Hughes, Tom Lineham, Joe Westerman, Jordan Cox and Benjamin Jullien.

21 – Away with the Lads

The biggest attendance played before was the 39,331 who attended at Newcastle’s St James’s Park for the Magic Weekend game on Saturday 21 May 2016, where Warrington played Castleford Tigers.

22 – You’ll never walk alone

We have had many great games against the Wigan Warriors over the Super League years, including beating them 24-12 at Anfield, Liverpool in May 2019. Blake Austin scores a stunning solo try, as the teams play in replica kits from the USA game thirty years earlier.

Blake Austin celebrates his stunning try against Wigan at 2019s Magic Weekend. Picture by Mike Boden

Blake Austin celebrates his stunning try against Wigan at 2019's Magic Weekend. Picture by Mike Boden

23 – Knowing me…knowing you

St Helens have been met most times in normal Super League games – on 60 occasions, and who could forget the last one, a sensational 19-0 Warrington victory in February 2020.

24 – Here today, gone tomorrow

Toronto Wolfpack are the only side we played once. After a 32-22 win in February 2020, the Canadian side had to sensationally withdraw from the league due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this result was later expunged from the records.

25 – Four pointer

Friday 30 October 2020, sees us beat Huddersfield Giants in a hastily arranged game, as we should have played Salford Red Devils, who couldn’t raise a team, and therefore forfeited the game. So in effect we came away with two wins that day!

Compiled by Stanski and Gary Slater