Author and ardent Wire fan Rob Watson – aka ‘Spirit of 55’ – has his say on Friday’s defeat at Saints…

IT was difficult not to hype up a match between two teams that in the first third of the season had looked distinctly better than the rest.

Unfortunately, as it played out, this one never really looked like living up to the hype.

Hopefully it is a well-timed reminder for Wire that they are not yet as good as some people were starting to think they were, and also a great lesson in what they need to do to be as good as they want to be.

You can pick the bones out of a few moments, talk about tactics and performances of individual players but the old truism of rugby league was highlighted in this match – if one team runs and hits harder than their opponents, then they will almost certainly will win.

Unquestionably, Saints won the battle down the middle and it is matches like this that reminds you the importance of that aspect of the game.

It was a bit of a ‘Murphy’s Law’ type of game for Wire – an unlucky and slightly harsh sin bin, a Saints try when a high kick somehow hit the ground and then bounce straight to a Saints player and another try when King slipped to allow the chance for Grace to burst through a gap and go on to score an exceptional try.

On top of that, there were the sort of little errors that usually happen when you’re chasing a game that isn’t going the way you planned it at all.

As well as appearing to be out-enthused down the middle, the other most worrying aspect of the performance was in defence where there was too much grabbing and not enough shoulder contact.

In matches against top teams, we will miss the creativity and evasiveness out wide of Bryson Goodwin any time he isn’t in the team.

I also would still like to see Ben Currie play some games at centre, where I think his pace, class and handling ability would be best utilised.

At the moment I feel that we haven’t identified our best 17 and in which position each of them would play. Jake Mamo at full-back and Stefan Ratchford at half-back might be another option worth looking at.

Saints firmly established themselves as the top team in Super League so far this season. For now, Wire need to focus on establishing a dominance over the rest of the league.

It seems almost certain that we will be facing Saints at some point at the back end of the season in much bigger matches than this one.

If they didn’t know already, it should now be abundantly clear to Wire that they will have to at least match Saints intensity down the middle if they are to triumph over them when it matters most.

No trophies are handed out in April but often plenty of lessons are, hopefully Warrington have taken the learning from this match.

Salford are next on Friday and it should be the case of wrong time, wrong place for them as I expect an extremely enthusiastic backlash from this Wire team.