JACK Hughes feels the loss to St Helens will serve Warrington Wolves well for Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Leeds Rhinos.

Thursday’s Super League battle between two ‘pumped up’ sides went down to the wire and was won after the final hooter wit the last kick of the game by Saints scrum-half Danny Richardson.

“You don’t want to go into a semi-final on the back of what you could say was an easy game,” said Hughes.

GUARDIAN VERDICT: St Helens 14 Warrington Wolves 12

“So that was perfect preparation for us, it’s exactly what we’re expecting this week because Leeds come alive in the big games.

“That’s what they’ve done for a number of years so we’re expecting a similar game and there was no better preparation.

Warrington Guardian:

Wire back rower Jack Hughes. Picture: Mike Boden

“It was a step up in intensity, it was tough out there.

“All of the boys said about it being fast, both teams playing fast around the ruck and through the middle third.

“Them games are coming thick and fast now going into the 8s and there’ll be many more games like that one.

“Those defeats are tough to take, games where you feel you should have come away with the points. They are heartbreaking.

“It’s disappointing but we have a big game this week to prepare for so we can’t dwell on that one.

“We’ve got to learn from it though and we’ve got to win those type of games.

“I do think we should have put it to bed.

“We had a few shots at the one point.

“Those types of games are coming at this time of year and if you need to win by one point you have to be able to execute it.

“We’ve got to get better at that.

“I thought we did really well to get ourselves close enough and in a position to hit it over.

“I suppose it’s just a little bit of skill off the back of it, a little bit of execution – maybe the pass, maybe the kick.

“Whatever it is, we’ve got to make it work so that we can win those types of games.”

Supporters picked out Mike Cooper as Wire’s man of the match against St Helens and Hughes was impressed by his display too.

Warrington Guardian:

Mike Cooper takes the game to Saints. Picture: Mike Boden

“Mike caught my eye again, he’s on top form.,” said the 26-year-old former Huddersfield and Wigan man.

“He’s just had his England call-up and he fully deserves that.

“For me, he is the best front rower in the comp at the minute by a mile.”