ALL good things must come to an end – but The Wire were hoping their winning run would not have been brought to such an abrupt halt.

Steve Price has always been adamant that, despite their impressive form, his side still have plenty to learn and improve upon. Saturday’s display in Newcastle has proved him right.

Let us get something clear, though. This was a Wigan team on top form and everyone in Super League will have had trouble keeping them in check, let alone a Wire side that was off its game.

They started okay and even held the lead for a good portion of the first half as Harvey Livett marked another week of growth in the second row by adding to his burgeoning personal collection of tries.

From the midway point of the first period, however, Warrington lost control and never really looked like getting it back.

The silly penalties given away were an alarming flashback to the early games of this season, and the Sam Tomkins-inspired Wigan side were in the mood to accept any gifts.

That said, The Wire were only six points behind at the break and were still very much in the game. A good start to the second half and it would have been game on.

They duly applied the pressure, but a combination of Wire profligacy and some excellent goalline defence from the Warriors – most notably a superb Ryan Sutton tackle to stop another certain try for Livett – meant their efforts went unrewarded before back-to-back Wigan tries broke the game.

It was clear to see how much Warrington missed Mike Cooper in the front row. He has set the tone from the off, allowing the bench to have maximum impact.

While Sitaleki Akauola’s fitness has improved markedly since the start of the season, he clearly has much greater influence off the bench than he does from the start.

However, one man does not make a team and that cannot be used as an excuse. The Wire were simply well beaten by the better side.

They have work to do but will get another crack at their neighours in just over a week’s time in the Challenge Cup.

However, the two league games either side of that – the visits of Hull FC and Castleford to The Halliwell Jones Stadium – have now assumed greater importance.

With a gap now opening up to the top two, The Wire must now be wary of the chasing pack eroding the cushion they had worked so hard to build up.


. The Wire’s heaviest margin of defeat in 2018 (28 points)

. Warrington have still not won at St James’ Park – three defeats and one draw in four games

. Kevin Brown the only player in Super League to have played in every Magic Weekend since it’s inception


Super League, Round 15

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wigan Warriors…38 Warrington Wolves…10

Wigan: Sam Tomkins; Tom Davies, John Bateman, Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall; George Williams, Sam Powell; Tony Clubb, Tommy Leuluai, Ben Flower, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Joel Tomkins. Subs: Morgan Escare, Ryan Sutton, Romain Navarette, Taulima Tautai.

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

Scoring: S Tomkins penalty, 6mins, 2-0; Livett try, 12mins, 4-2; Powell try, 26mins, S Tomkins goal, 8-4; S Tomkins try, 30mins, S Tomkins goal, 14-4; Ratchford try, 35mins, Goodwin goal, 14-10; S Tomkins penalty, 40mins, 16-10; Bateman try, 51mins, S Tomkins goal, 22-10; Williams try, 53mins, 26-10; Marshall try, 74mins, 30-10; Davies try, 77mins, S Tomkins goal, 36-10; S Tomkins penalty, 80mins, 38-10.

Penalties: Wigan 11 Wolves 7

Referee: Robert Hicks

Attendance: 38,881

Top man (Guardian readers’ vote): Stefan Ratchford