WHAT a difference five days makes.

It was mooted that a short turnaround had come at the best possible time for Warrington Wolves after their Headingley horror show in Round One.

On this evidence, that theory proved correct as The Wire sizzled in the St Helens sunshine.

> VIDEO: 'I was looking for a response and we got that' – what Steve Price made of Warrington Wolves' win over Leigh Centurions

In many ways, this could have been considered a no-win situation for Steve Price and his men.

A convincing victory would have been no less than would have been expected against a Leigh side many believe will struggle to stay in Super League.

Anything less and the pressure would have ratcheted up even more.

Nevertheless, Price will be rightly delighted with what was an impressive departure from what was served up against Castleford Tigers.

Pictures by Mike Boden

Pictures by Mike Boden

They were everything they weren’t last week – brave and fluent with the ball, organised and committed without it.

And that in a way makes it all the more frustrating as this is what this group are capable of. Showing it consistently is where they fall down.

If they manage to do that this year, something special could await them further down the line.

There is a long way to go before that can happen and there will be much sterner tests to come, but if nothing else this will boost confidence.

At the fulcrum of it all was Gareth Widdop for what was his best game in a Warrington shirt by some considerable difference.

There was a right-edge defence on strings as there was in the Castleford game but this time it was Widdop rather than Jake Trueman who was the puppeteer.

Pictures by Mike Boden

Pictures by Mike Boden

Leigh did not know if he would unleash Toby King and Tom Lineham to go around them, the excellent Ben Currie to go through them or whether he would just do it himself.

In the end, it was a glorious mixture of all three as The Wire’s lethal left edge ran red hot, with seven of the eight Warrington tries coming from the fabulous foursome.

It is a relationship that looked promising in 2020 and it now looks to be among the most potent in the competition.

There were moments from the men on the right, with Jake Mamo’s try particularly well-worked, but they have a bit of catching up to do. When Greg Inglis is fit, the hope is he knits that edge together.

Chris Hill too was superb against his former club after brushing off an early bang to the head, regularly punching holes into the red and white wall to set up the assault on the edges.

Pictures by Mike Boden

Pictures by Mike Boden

It is important not to get carried away with this, but at least it shows this side are capable of delivering the expansive style of play fans are crying out for.

Have the real Warrington Wolves just stood up? Time will tell...


. 44 points is Wire’s highest number in one game since a 50-19 win over Huddersfield in May 2019

. In scoring his third try in two games, Toby King has already equalled his try tally for the entire 2020 season

. Rob Butler makes his competitive Warrington debut

Pictures by Mike Boden

Pictures by Mike Boden


Super League, Round Two

Friday, April 2, 2021

Warrington Wolves...44 Leigh Centurions...12

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Jake Mamo, Toby King, Tom Lineham; Blake Austin, Gareth Widdop; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Joe Philbin. Subs: Jason Clark, Danny Walker, Robbie Mulhern, Rob Butler

Centurions: Ryan Brierley; Matty Russell, Iain Thornley, Keanan Brand, Lewis Tierney; Blake Wallace, Ben Reynolds; Adam Sidlow, Liam Hood, Mark Ioane, Matty Gee, Ben Hellewell, Jordan Thompson. Subs: Matty Wildie, Alex Gerrard, Nate Peteru, Tyrone McCarthy

Scoring: Lineham try, 10mins, Ratchford goal, 6-0; King try, 24mins, Ratchford goal, 12-0; Mamo try, 26mins, 16-0; Widdop try, 37mins, Ratchford goal, 22-0; Currie try, 52mins, Ratchford goal, 28-0; Sidlow try, 58mins, Reynolds goal, 28-6; King try, 61mins, Ratchford goal, 34-6; Lineham try, 69mins, 38-6; Widdop try, 75mins, Ratchford goal, 44-6; Brierley try, 79mins, Reynolds goal, 44-12

Penalties: Wolves 5 Centurions 5

Referee: James Child


Pictures by Mike Boden

Pictures by Mike Boden