DESPITE a dominant Wire display, it was difficult to be satisfied after Sunday’s game.

Not because of anything Warrington had done wrong – the ruthless edge they showed was highly impressive – but because of how the 80 minutes had played out.

Toronto offered much promise in the early stages and were the better side for the opening quarter of the game, but the way their discipline collapsed was shambolic.

Some of their conduct was ludicrous and while their tactics are undoubtedly successful in the lower leagues, Sunday was a demonstration that it will not fly in Super League.

To that end, credit has to be given to referee Ben Thaler for the way he controlled the game and showed little patience for the Wolfpack’s behaviour.

Even though their opposition seemed determined to hand them the game on a plate, The Wire still had to accept the offering and the way they did so in the second half was impressive.

Naturally, playing against 12 men made it much easier, but they showed a renewed sense of vigour and intensity after the break.

It was as if the beast inside them had been stirred by what happened in the first half and they decided it was time to bite back.

One purple patch would have been enough to win them the game, and their three tries in the first 10 minutes of the second period put them comfortably out of reach.

Easing off would have been understandable – perhaps even advised, with Wigan lying in wait at Magic Weekend on Saturday.

However, the way they mercilessly continued to run Toronto ragged will have no doubt delighted their supporters. The confidence they are playing with is clear to see and it is reflected on the terraces.

The second-half display almost felt like a vocal dismissal of the Wolfpack’s brave new world from the game’s elite.

They may be a Super League club in waiting, but in terms of competing with the top teams in the English game, it is very much back to the drawing board.

For The Wire, attention turns to stiffer tasks ahead. Wigan, Hull, Wigan again and Castleford in the coming weeks.

All three teams will be roadblocks on their path to success as they look to travel similar routes themselves.

Should Warrington emerge from that run of fixtures with their winning streak intact, the world will truly be their oyster.


. The Wire’s first ever meeting with Toronto.

. Tyrone Roberts’ first try at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

. Highest number of penalties Warrington have received in a game this season (16)


Challenge Cup, sixth round

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Toronto Wolfpack…10 Warrington Wolves…66

Wolfpack: Gareth O’Brien; Adam Higson, Chase Stanley, Greg Worthington, Liam Kay; Josh McCrone, Ryan Brierley; Darcy Lussick, Bob Beswick, Ashton Sims, Andrew Dixon, Corey Paterson, Jake Emmitt. Subs: Adam Sidlow, Jack Bussey, Andy Ackers, Sam Hopkins.

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Ryan Atkins, Bryson Goodwin, Tom Lineham; Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Harvey Livett, Ben Westwood. Subs: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Sitaleki Akauola, Joe Philbin, Dec Patton.

Scoring: Higson try, 7mins, 4-0; Kay try, 15mins, 8-0; Cooper try, 23mins, Goodwin goal, 8-6; Brierley penalty, 36mins, 10-6; Charnley try, 40mins, Goodwin goal, 10-12; Livett try, 42mins, 10-16; Murdoch-Masila try, 46mins, Goodwin goal, 10-22; Hughes try, 51mins, Goodwin goal, 10-28; Westwood try, 55mins, Goodwin goal, 10-34; Lineham try, 57mins, Goodwin goal, 10-40; Roberts try, 60mins, 10-44; Lineham try, 67mins, Goodwin goal, 10-50; Murdoch-Masila try, 70mins, Goodwin, 10-56; Charnley try, 73mins, Goodwin goal, 10-62; Lineham try, 80mins, 10-66

Penalties: Wolfpack 8 Wolves 16

Sin bin: Kay, 28mins, dangerous tackle; McCrone, 47mins, dissent; Lussick, 53mins, dissent

Red card: Dixon, 38mins, punching

Referee: Ben Thaler

Attendance: 6,507

Top man (Guardian readers’ vote): Joe Philbin