AMID all the emotion of Tony Smith’s departure, plus that of several players, there was still a game to be won.

Even though this game was ‘a dead rubber,’ the energy and intensity showed by both sides demonstrated they were keen to finish on a high.

It sometimes boiled over, with Jack Hughes and Lee Jewitt spending time in the sin bin for one particular bit of bluster, and the error count was high, but this game was far from two teams going through the motions.

If the pre-game talk was about The Wire making it seven wins from as many Middle 8s games and sending Smith off in fitting fashion, their start to the game was far from ideal.

The visitors were clinical and impressive when moving the ball, creating overlaps for wingers Will Oakes and Ryan Shaw to give them a 14-point advantage, with the latter scoring back-to-back efforts.

However, once all of Smith’s interchanges climbed from the bench, the game changed in Wolves’ favour.

From the half-hour mark onwards, it was mostly one-way traffic as the energy brought by Brad Dwyer, Andre Savelio, Benjamin Jullien and Joe Philbin took effect.

Wolves played with more zip and the speed of the play-the-ball increased dramatically despite Rovers’ attempts to slow it down.

Dwyer, saving perhaps his best performance this year for his last game before moving to Leeds, and Stefan Ratchford had brought the hosts back to within two points of KR at the break, but the best was yet to come.

Savelio scored two carbon-copy efforts to make his Wolves farewell a fond one, picking a superb line to crash over from Kurt Gidley’s well-timed passes.

Between those two efforts, Ben Pomeroy had burrowed over for his second try of the game and Oakes had ensured Rovers would not finish the season with a scoreless second half at the other end.

Peta Hiku, who had created Pomeroy’s second try, was quieter than he has been recently but still managed to cross for the eighth game in a row, a true demonstration that replacing him must be among the top priorities for The Wire’s new coach.

Ben Currie’s first try at The Halliwell Jones Stadium for more than a year and a late score from Harvey Livett nudged Wolves past the 40-point mark and there was even time for a valiant but wayward conversion attempt from Ashton Sims!

When this day is remember in Wolves folklore, the game will always be somewhat of a footnote, but it was a fitting end for a Wire coaching hero.


. Wolves become the second side ever to win all of their Middle 8s games after Hull KR did so in 2015.

. 10 victories in a row equals a club record in the Super League era.

. Peta Hiku finishes his time at Wolves having scored in eight consecutive games.


Middle 8s, Round Seven Saturday, September 23, 2017 Warrington Wolves…46 Hull Kingston Rovers…24 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: Brad Dwyer, Andre Savelio, Joe Philbin, Benjamin Jullien.

Hull KR: Ben Cockayne; Ryan Shaw, Tom Minns, Matty Marsh, Will Oakes; Chris Atkins, Jamie Ellis; Lee Jewitt, George Lawler, Robbie Mulhern, James Greenwood, Maurice Blair, Ben Kavanagh. Subs: Zach Dockar-Clay, Chris Clarkson, Mitch Clark, Kieren Moss.

Scoring: Oakes try, 4mins, Ellis goal, 0-6; Pomeroy try, 19mins, 4-6; Shaw try, 25mins, Ellis goal, 4-12; Shaw try, 27mins, Ellis goal, 4-18; Ratchford try, 31mins, Livett goal, 10-18; Dwyer try, 37mins, Livett goal, 16-18; Savelio try, 48mins, Livett goal, 22-18; Pomeroy try, 52mins, 26-18; Oakes try, 58mins, Ellis goal, 26-24; Savelio try, 62mins, Livett goal, 32-24; Hiku try, 69mins, 36-24; Currie try, 74mins, Gidley goal, 42-24; Livett try, 78mins, 46-24.

Penalties: Wolves 9 Hull KR 8

Referee: Gareth Hewer

Sin bin: Hughes, 50mins (fighting), Jewitt, 50mins (fighting)

Attendance: 10,466

Guardian man of the match: Brad Dwyer