BRAVERY on the ball and threat down both edges – something Warrington Wolves fans are desperate to see from their side.

It was on display at Heywood Road on Sunday…from Swinton Lions.

While it was The Wire who took the quarter-final berth as expected, it was Stuart Littler’s side who left with all the plaudits following an impressive display.

Indeed for times in the first half, it looked as though something incredible was afoot given the number of times they carved open the Warrington defence.

Their part-time squad was always likely to tire and eventually relent, but they can take enormous heart and credit for how they performed.

From a Wire perspective though, given the team Steve Price put out which was only a couple of players short of full strength, the expectation was to deliver so much more than they offered.

> 'A lot we're not happy with' - the post-match thoughts of Warrington Wolves head coach Steve Price

Warrington Guardian:

Stefan Ratchford looks for a way through the Swinton defence. Picture by Mike Boden

A repeat of the 112-0 cricket score they ran up against the Lions in this competition almost a decade ago would have been too much to ask, but a repeat of the authoritative display they put on against Leigh Centurions last time out was the minimum requirement.

If that game felt like a step forward, though, this was one back again.

> Watch all the tries from Wire's cup win at Swinton here

Once again the attack was flat and predictable, particularly in a second half where they did not ask nearly enough questions of the home defence despite dominating possession and territory.

Time and again their sets ended with a kick in the direction of Toby King and while he is clearly a big threat in the air, Swinton knew it was coming.

Warrington Guardian:

Blake Austin puts boot to ball. Picture by Mike Boden

The left side is clearly Warrington’s strike edge but there has to be balance – it is hard to remember a scoring chance being created for the likes of Jake Mamo and Josh Charnley down the right.

The latter had another tough game – allowing Luis Roberts to squeeze past him for a try before making basic mistakes from two kick offs – and seems devoid of confidence.

His finishing prowess is up there among the best on these shores but given his tribulations of late, could it be time for him to be taken out of the firing line?

On a more positive note, Matty Ashton was excellent in defence while being typically lively with ball in hand while Matt Davis, Rob Butler and Robbie Mulhern all brought energy off the bench.

Warrington Guardian:

And the biggest of them all? They are still in the competition.

Catalans Dragons will be an altogether tougher test in the last eight – a tie which comes just a fortnight after a Super League clash between the two in Perpignan.

That game and the trip to Hull FC that comes next will show us where this Warrington side really are.

Will they have been worried by this performance? Quite the opposite – it will have had them licking their lips.

> WIRE SOCIAL: 'Pre-season level played at half-pace by a half-interested team'


. 32 is the most points Warrington have ever scored in an away match against Swinton – previous best was 30 in 1953

. Matty Ashton and Danny Walker score their first tries of the season

Warrington Guardian:

Matty Ashton crosses against his former club. Picture by Mike Boden


Challenge Cup, third round

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Swinton Lions...8 Warrington Wolves...32

Lions: Mike Butt; Richard Lepori, Mitch Cox, Rhodri Lloyd, Luis Roberts; Martyn Ridyard, Jack Hansen; Louis Brogan, Luke Waterworth, Sam Brooks, Deane Meadows, Nick Gregson, Will Hope. Subs: Tayler Brown, Paddy Jones, Cobi Green, Jordan Brown

Wolves: Matty Ashton; Josh Charnley, Jake Mamo, Toby King, Tom Lineham; Blake Austin, Stefan Ratchford; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Joe Philbin, Ellis Robson, Ben Currie, Jason Clark. Subs: Robbie Mulhern, Rob Butler, Danny Walker, Matt Davis

Scoring: King try, 5mins, 0-4; Roberts try, 14mins, Ridyard goal, 6-4; Ridyard penalty, 18mins, 8-4; Lineham try, 28mins, 8-8; King try, 33mins, Ratchford goal, 8-14; Austin try, 36mins, Ratchford goal, 8-20; Ashton try, 67mins, Ratchford goal, 8-26; Walker try, 73mins, Ratchford goal, 8-32

Penalties: Lions 5 Wolves 9

Referee: Tom Grant