WE were all pretty sure of it anyway, but now we know for sure that Warrington Wolves are bound for the Super League semi-finals.

They got there by beating the only team that could mathematically deny them a place in the top four…but only just.

It was not a polished performance on Friday – far from it – but it is a well-worn cliché that good teams win ugly.

Finding a way to put teams away when you are not at your best is an admirable quality, but will it be enough to win the big one?

Steve Price's post-match reaction

Ryan Atkins on his return from injury

Latest on injuries to Kevin Brown and Ben Murdoch-Masila

Match action photo gallery

Fan reaction and match facts

Wire 26 Huddersfield 24 as it happened

What we can all agree upon is that The Wire need to stop giving their opponents helping hands up the field.

One glaring example of this that sticks out is early in the second half when they had Huddersfield pinned down on their own line and hanging on for dear life before giving away a penalty for crossing.

That is the kind of thing Steve Price and his men know they need to stamp out, as any one of St Helens, Wigan and Castleford may not be so forgiving.

It was not long after that, though, that they scored back-to-back tries to give them some breathing space and the vast majority of those inside The Halliwell Jones Stadium thought they could see their side running through the Giants.

Not so. To their credit, Simon Woolford’s side kept coming back and were it not for Danny Brough having an unusual off night from the kicking tee, they would have won the game.

The fact Huddersfield were able to get so close was partly down to some poor game management from their hosts.

They were six points up in the final 10 minutes and that was the point at which the half-backs should have taken control and managed the game, but both Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts showed shortcomings on that front.

A poor kick from Brown gave Huddersfield a needless seven-tackle set which put Wolves under severe pressure, while Roberts once again spurned a presentable drop-goal opportunity that would have given his side a valuable two-score lead.

With it being just 15 metres out and under no real pressure, it was the kind of drop-goal you would expect your marquee scrum-half to gobble up with ease.

Despite all of this, it cannot be ignored that Warrington are in the Super League semi-finals again after a torrid 2017 with three games to spare.

That is testament to the work done by Steve Price and the squad – plenty of whom seem to be hitting form at the right time.

Bryson Goodwin is arguably Super League’s form centre at the moment. Good enough to be named in the Super League Dream Team? Quite possibly…

Jack Hughes was once again Mr Dependable, as was Mike Cooper, while it was good to see Ryan Atkins back and amongst the tries, even if it meant pushing an unfortunate Toby King out of position and into the back row.

They and others are peaking at the right moment. It is up to the rest of the squad to follow them.


. Wire secure their place in Super League semi-finals.

. Tom Lineham has now scored in his past four games against Huddersfield.


Super 8s, Round Four

Friday, September 7, 2018

Warrington Wolves…26 Huddersfield Giants…24

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Toby King, Bryson Goodwin, Tom Lineham; Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ryan Atkins, Harvey Livett. Subs: Joe Philbin, Declan Patton, George King. Sub not used: Ben Pomeroy.

Giants: Jordan Rankin; Jake Mamo, Jordan Turner, Jacob Wardle, Innes Senior; Lee Gaskell, Danny Brough; Ukuma Ta’ai, Adam O’Brien, Suaia Matagi, Alex Mellor, Oliver Roberts, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Subs: Kruise Leeming, Michael Lawrence, Paul Clough, Daniel Smith.

Scoring: Mamo try, 17mins, 0-4; Goodwin try, 23mins, Roberts goal, 6-4; Brough penalty, 30mins, 6-6; Mamo try, 33mins, 6-10; Atkins try, 36mins, Roberts goal, 12-10; Mamo try, 38mins, 12-14; Ratchford try, 49mins, Roberts goal, 18-14; Lineham try, 52mins, 22-14; Gaskell try, 60mins, Brough goal, 22-20; Goodwin try, 68mins, 26-20; Wardle try, 76mins, 26-24

Penalties: Wolves 8 Giants 10

Sin bin: Cooper (15mins, high tackle)

Referee: James Child

Attendance: 9,076