RYAN Atkins gave an honest assessment of Warrington Wolves’ performance against St Helens – admitting his side were “played off the field.”

In what was a much-hyped fixture, The Wire fell badly short against a ruthless Saints side, who eventually cantered to a 38-12 victory.

The game was tight until Mike Cooper was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Saints scrum-half Danny Richardson in the 28th minute and from there, the hosts built up a lead they would never relinquish.

However, centre Atkins believes the period in which Cooper was sidelined saw them dig in more than they did for other parts of the game.

He also admits they deserved to come away from the Totally Wicked Stadium nursing a heavy defeat.

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“They out-enthused us and outclassed us. They played us off the field,” he said.

“We’ve not played the way we have done in recent weeks in attack or defence.

“That’s not taking anything away from Saints – they are a good side and we knew it would be a tough game.

“With the performance we put in, we deserved to come away with a scoreline like that.

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“We didn’t stick to the gameplan we were given. We’d worked hard during the week on things but didn’t implement them, both with the ball and without it.

“Against a team like Saints, you need to make sure you control the ball and turn it over in their 20-metre area.

“We were gifting it to them on the halfway line and they were just rolling us.

“I think we had a real dig when Coops went off and defended a bit better at first.

“We were getting beat up the middle, which was unusual as we’re usually really solid there.”

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The Wire must move on quickly ahead of a tough Easter period, with Salford Red Devils visiting The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Good Friday before a trip to Hull Kingston Rovers on Easter Monday.

Atkins says the busy schedule has come at a good time given this setback.

“It’s not long until we play again – that’s a positive we can take,” he said.

“The Easter period is tough but we need to get back on the horse.

“We can’t do anything about this result – we need to recover well and get ready for a busy period.”

Full video interview above