THE excitement felt for the 2019 Warrington Wolves team before boots had been laced appear justified.

To deliver an opening performance as good as they did against Leeds Rhinos speaks volumes for what could be possible this year.

Teams all expect to improve from their starting position and it is a mouthwatering prospect that the rugby served up on Friday is potentially only going to get better.

The Wire’s willingness to offload the ball as well as the introduction of law changes to speed up the game is going to suit Steve Price’s side to the max.

Getting the team on the front foot and sending rivals backwards is crucial.

Co-captain Chris Hill, fellow prop Mike Cooper and loose-forward Ben Westwood did a terrific job in laying the foundations in round one.

And Wire have a glut of talent in their ranks to take advantage of the fast rucks and tiring defenders, with Stefan Ratchford, Daryl Clark, Danny Walker, Josh Charnley, Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins being key in the art of dummy-half darts and speedy play-the-balls.

When the likes of Lineham, Cooper and Jason Clark generate a second phase of play with their offloads, it is like The Wire enjoying a seventh or even eighth tackle in a set and compounding the tiring defensive duties on opponents.

Playing at such pace and intensity is going to cause mayhem in the best of defences, as long as match officials do not allow teams to lie on in tackles. That should not happen as it would seem to be against the grain of this year’s attempts to speed the game up with the use of shot clocks and having less interchanges.

This feels a lot like 2011, when The Wire played at a pace most teams could not contend with.

It was a time when Lee Briers, Michael Monaghan, Brett Hodgson and Adrian Morley ruled the roost.

Warrington Guardian:

The Wire were League Leaders' Shield winners in 2011. Picture by Mike Boden

The Wire enjoyed a record-breaking season of points scoring and lifted the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time in the Super League era.

For a period it seemed that, as seasons progressed, the dominance of stronger teams grew while weaker teams struggled, and wide margins of victory and defeat were not uncommon.

Do not be surprised if that occurs again and the wisdom of this year’s format instead of the 8s will be questioned.

If there is anything to learn from The Wire’s 2011 it is squad rotation.

Despite being the best team by far that year, Tony Smith’s side were undone in the play-offs because bodies were worn out at the business end.

Price has a talented squad and it is important to share the workload.