Wire fan Rob Watson – aka Spirit of 55 – looks back at Friday's win over Toronto Wolfpack...

AFTER the disappointment at Wakefield, this game felt a bit like starting again for Wire as they try to establish themselves as one of the top teams in this year’s Super League.

For the first time, we got to see all of Austin, Widdop, Ratchford and Ashton in the same team, with Ratchford’s versatility allowing him to play at right centre.

There were definitely more brighter moments than against Wakefield, but overall it wasn’t much more convincing.

To begin with it looked like the slick handling and creativity that was so glaringly missing on Sunday was back.

After a trademark break from Daryl Clark from around the halfway line, Wire took advantage of the disrupted Toronto defence on the next play to create more than enough space for Charnley to go over in the right corner.

Two things that can help you win even when you’re not playing well are being willing to take some risks with the ball to create tries and having individual players who can make breaks and score tries themselves out of nothing.

In the first half, Wire twice took the risk of shifting the ball out to the left wing from within their own half.

Both times it resulted in Lineham making a break. The first time he was able to pass the ball back on the inside to Widdop who raced away to dive over in the corner and score his first Wire try.

The second time, Lineham didn’t need any support as he kept on running to score himself.

Warrington Guardian:

Tom Lineham scores The Wire's third try. Picture by Mike Boden

With a 16-0 lead inside the first 25 minutes, a comfortable win looked a distinct possibility.

However, anytime Toronto got near the Wire line, they did look like the sort of team likely to score tries and they did score one to stem the Wire tide.

It was good to see Ashton back in the side and he produced one of those individual moments to break through the Toronto line himself then do just enough to evade the full back to score and re-establish the 16-point lead.

Warrington Guardian:

Matty Ashton touches down. Picture by Mike Boden

Just when it looked like a Wire would have a comfortable half time lead, they conceded the scrappiest of tries when in possession with less than a minute to go before the break.

In the second half, the expansive play went missing again as it did at Wakefield.

Toronto grew in confidence and got right back into the game with two more tries that levelled the scores.

Now it was all set for a tense finish, with Toronto looking keen to play the role of party poopers to get their first win of the season.

Wire found just enough energy and speed of play to make a couple of forays deep into Toronto territory, on both occasions they earned themselves a penalty. Ratchford kicked the goal on both occasions to give Wire a four-point lead.

The first decision to kick at goal was understandable with the scored tied with not long left, they second time though did give of the impression of a team not at all convinced by their chances of scoring a try.

When Toronto shifted the ball left close to the Wire line, they looked like they might have a chance to take the lead late on.

Miloudi headed for the corner but Charnley did well to scramble across to deny him the try.

With Toronto taking more and more chances, Wire got possession back deep into their opponent’s half.

From around ten metres out Austin angled across the field and not for the first time and hopefully far from the last, Murdoch-Masila crashed onto a drop off pass and despite the attention of three or four defenders manged to find his way over for the match-clinching try.

Warrington Guardian:

Ben Murdoch-Masila scores in the game's final minute. Picture by Mike Boden

It’s difficult to say how good this Toronto team are going to be this season – they look more than good enough to at least be competitive, but right now they would probably take an eleventh place finish that would allow them to continue to develop their project in Super League.

Equally, it is still unclear just how good Wire are going to be.

With the quality of players like Widdop, Austin, Ratchford and Daryl Clark, plus the x-factor of players like Ashton and Murdoch-Masila as well as several other good players they should be a dangerous team.

Individuals can only get a team so far though.

The thing that will dictate just how successful they are is whether they can consistently come together as a cohesive unit to play with a style that will make them a difficult opponent for any team.

Playing with that more creative and free-flowing style that they started the season with is easier to do at some moments than it is others.

When the score is close in the second half at home to a team they are expected to beat comfortably is one of those times when it is more difficult. Wire did seem to revert back into that shell that they resided in so much last season.

If they want to win this competition, I believe their best chance is to break completely out of that shell and back themselves to be an exciting and risk-taking team.