Wire fan Rob Watson, author of the book ‘Spirit of 55’, gives his take on the opening game of the season…

NEW beginnings are often a good time for optimism and Wire have more reasons than most to be optimistic for this season.

Some excellent signings added to a squad that got to two finals last year and responded really well to a new coach.

First games can be deceiving but there were many positive signs from this Wire win over Leeds. It’s difficult to say how god the opponents are – Leeds had a look of a team that will take some time to gel.

Whether they will gel well and soon enough to be a title contender this season, only time will tell.

Regardless of the opposition, Wire’s defence looked excellent, lots of good quality shoulder contact which strongly suggests that footwork was good too.

The togetherness of the defensive line was equally as impressive, when one went those around him went with them.

The new signing that has created the most interest is definitely Blake Austin, the latest player charged with giving Wire the half-back that they have needed for a few years.

Whilst it doesn’t yet look like he will fill the role of that midfield general that will take sole responsibility for guiding the team around the field, it does appear already that he will be a strong addition to the team.

The most noticeable thing about him was that he is likely to make a break himself with his agility and footwork, something Wire have been missing at half back for a while.

He also showed strong glimpses of helping to fill another void that the team have had for a while, that being able to turn pressure into points by providing the killer pass close to the line.

Some of his passes came out so late that it was easy to miss that the ball had gone on to a team mate. His obvious running threat makes it so much more difficult to defending against him because defenders have to seriously consider run and pass options

The later his passes can come out the more difficult he will be for defenders to predict.

Jason Clark looks like he’ll be a really good addition to the pack and it was great to see Warrington lad Danny Walker make his full debut. He should be excellent cover for Daryl Clark at hooker.

With other new signings and some established players not making the 17, the squad looks to have great depth.

Stefan Ratchford, Josh Charnley and Daryl Clark all scored the sort of tries you would most expect from them.

Ratchford used some excellent footwork to jink through a grasping Leeds defence, Charnley hugged the touchline to go over in the corner and Clark made a forceful and evasive run to crash over under the posts.

In the second half Austin scored after playing a ‘one-two’ with Toby King after putting him through a gap.

The strong defence and a limited amount of mistakes in possession did the rest for Wire to complete a convincing victory.

Maybe it will be our year at last, maybe our hopes will be cruelly crushed again but this team at least looks like they are going to make the season an enjoyable one for Wire fans leading up to either a fairytale ending or an all too familiar nightmare.