This week's Spirit of 55 column has a distinctly Western theme as Wire fan Rob Watson takes a look at Thursday's win over Castleford...

THIS was the sort of game that players will be talking about when they gather in years to come, with discussions mainly centred around answering this question – ‘how on earth did we win that one?’

There can be few better feelings in sport than when you snatch a win from a contest that it looked like you were about to lose.

Scoring late to go from losing to winning is a great sign and should only add to the confidence they have gained from the previous six wins.

It was a win that stretches wins current run to a magnificent seven, but for much of the night the game more resembled another famous old western film – The Alamo – as Wire repelled several attacks from Castleford, many of which were close to the Wire line.

Fortunately, unlike the film, this time the team that was facing the onslaught actually went on to win.

Given the disruption in the team for these last couple of games, the defence has been especially impressive.

It would appear to be a clear indication that the whole squad have a great understanding of the defensive system and what is required of them to keep that line together.

Squad spirit, not just team spirit, is needed this year more than any other to be champions.

Whilst it is never good to see Daryl Clark missing, it was good to see Danny Walker get a full game and to take his chance so well with an excellent performance and showing plenty of toughness defending down the middle.

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The enforced reshuffling has shown the depth of the squad and versatility of many players, leading to questions about what would be the first choice 17 if everyone were available and which players would play in what position.

No doubt a few fans will have changed their minds about that over the last few weeks, it will be interesting to see if Steve Price has done.

For example, Jake Mamo has shown he is a more than capable centre, whilst he has spent most of his previous time at the club filling in at fullback or on the wing while Anthony Gelling has produced a few handling errors in the tackle and looked erratic in his decision-making in defence at times.

It looks like there could be a good chance that Tom Lineham might be banned for a few games, which could allow an opportunity to see Matty Ashton replace him and it could be good to see a genuine flyer in the left wing spot.

Whilst I expect Hill, Hughes, Philbin, Akauola and Jason Clark to come back into the first team as soon as they are available again, it can only be a good thing for them to know that there are plenty of capable young players hungry for their spot in the team.

I still believe that Wire are a better team with Gareth Widdop in it, allowing Ratchford to revert back to full-back.

One thing for sure is that if ever Steve Price has a full squad to pick from, some players who deserve to be selected will have to miss out.

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Given the way this year is going, we should be thankful for all involved that we are able to watch any rugby league at all – even those officials whose decisions we love to disagree with – for giving us something to look forward to and a weekly highlight. This classic match in particular was a fantastic piece of escapism for us.

Going back to the Western theme, Wire’s dramatic late winning try did have the hallmarks of Hollywood Cowboy ending.

The much-maligned Dec Patton came to the rescue to be the unlikely hero, paving the way for Ben Currie, the coolest gunslinger in town, to have the final showdown with the full-back, with ice in his veins Currie calmly eliminates the enemy and allows the kid with the fastest feet in the west to save the day.

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