IF Wolves had travelled to Featherstone this time last year, a convincing victory would have been both expected and demanded.

Sunday was probably similar, but the previous two performances had told us nothing could be taken for granted.

However, any thought of a shock defeat disappeared in just five minutes.

By the time the hosts touched the ball, a Kyran Johnson knock-on aside, they were 12-0 down and the game was as good as lost.

Despite the slope being against them, Wolves scythed through the Rovers defence at will and scored seven tries before the break.

They did not go completely untroubled as Featherstone used the hill to mount a spell of pressure just after the midway point of the half, but Warrington displayed good line speed and keenness in the tackle to force errors from their hosts.

The second half followed a similar pattern as The Wire continued to cross the try line at will.

As has been the case for every game since he arrived from Penrith, Peta Hiku was central to most of the good things Wolves did.

His performance was so impressive that he did not need his hat-trick of tries to be the game’s standout player.

Whoever takes over from Tony Smith at Wolves, finding a replacement of suitable quality to offset Hiku’s departure has to be among their top priorities. It may even prove impossible.

Harvey Livett, on the comeback trail from a serious injury, was also superb on the opposite edge and his 28-point personal haul is a season high for any Wolves player this season.

Ben Currie, too, will feel much better for having completed 80 minutes for the first time in more than a year.

Plenty of questions have been asked of Wolves’ defence in recent weeks. Rightly so after 68 points conceded in their previous two outings.

With that in mind, no matter how limited the opposition may be, keeping them off the scoresheet is a noteworthy achievement.

With their Super League status secure, it would have been easy for Wolves’ players to relax and switch off.

However, Sunday’s display showed they are not on the beach just yet.


. Wolves secure their ninth victory in a row.

. Biggest margin of victory this season.

. Harvey Livett’s 28 points are the most by a Wolves player in a single game this season.

. Peta Hiku scores for the seventh game in a row.


Middle 8s, Round Six

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Featherstone Rovers…0 Warrington Wolves…68

Rovers: Kyran Johnson; Scott Turner, Misi Taulapapa, Josh Walters, Josh Hardcastle; Anthony Thackeray, Matty Wildie; Darrell Griffin, Keal Carlile, Sam Brooks, John Davies, Connor Farrell, James Lockwood. Subs: Kyle Briggs, Luke Cooper, Brad Tagg, Richard Moore.

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Ben Pomeroy, Peta Hiku, Harvey Livett, Matty Russell; Kevin Brown, Kurt Gidley; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Ashton Sims, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Mike Cooper. Subs: George King, Andre Savelio, Jack Johnson, Morgan Smith.

Scoring: Hiku try, 2mins, Livett goal, 0-6; Ratchford try, 5mins, Livett goal, 0-12; Livett try, 8mins, 0-16; Hughes try, 16mins, Livett goal, 0-22; Pomeroy try, 22mins, 0-26; Savelio try, 36mins, Livett goal, 0-32; Hughes try, 36mins, Livett goal, 0-38; Hiku try, 47mins, Livett goal, 0-44; Livett try, 52mins, Livett goal, 0-50; Johnson try, 61mins, Livett goal, 0-56; Hiku try, 72mins, Livett goal, 0-62; Johnson try, 79mins, Livett goal, 0-68.

Penalties: Rovers 7 Wolves 2.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.

Attendance: 2,441.

Guardian man of the match: Peta Hiku.