WINNING runs always come to an end, no matter how long they are.

A true test of a good side is how it responds to that happening – and that is the task facing Warrington Wolves this week.

Granted, it was only a six-game winning run in Super League but it had allowed them to build steadily.

After the bitter disappointment of the Challenge Cup semi-final loss to Castleford, Steve Price and his squad had to reconstruct faith in the fan base that his final year in charge can end gloriously at Old Trafford.

The only way they can do that is by winning games of rugby league and up until Monday, that is exactly what they have been doing.

However, the loss to Leeds Rhinos on Monday felt like a serious drop-off.

Had injuries to key players caught up with them? Were they feeling the effects of several short turnarounds? Or were Leeds just the better side on the night?

It was probably an unhealthy combination of all three but now, it is critical they ensure that is not the start of a trend.

Last year, The Wire had strung together eight successive league wins either side of the Covid-enforced shutdown, only for a couple of key defeats to leave their momentum in tatters and see them crash out of the play-offs at the first hurdle.

It was a similar story in 2019 when after a promising start, they lost nine of their last 12 Super League matches – although an element of mitigation can be accepted thanks to the exertions of that year’s Challenge Cup Final triumph.

This is a new group, however, and generally this year, they have responded well to disappointing results.

This time around, they will have to do so in a fixture many Wire supporters will have marked down as two points in pre-season, but it is one laced with danger.

Only time will tell whether or not Hull Kingston Rovers will be rusty after their enforced three-week break due to a Covid outbreak, but they will certainly be well-rested.

Since their last game on June 18 – an 18-8 win at Wigan which made it three victories in a row – Warrington have played three times.

Rovers have shown they are a force to be reckoned with and on their own patch, they will strongly fancy their chances of further denting the momentum of head coach Tony Smith’s former side.

Only after Sunday’s trip to Craven Park will we know whether or not Monday can be written off as merely a bad day at the office.