A COMPLETION rate of 44 per cent, eight handling errors and 32 per cent possession.

Those were Warrington Wolves’ stats at half time. By rights, they should have been comfortably behind.

The fact they went into the break 12-8 up is testament to the defensive grit we have seen in evidence on a few occasions this year.

Wigan gave them a hand with some poor execution but in the main, The Wire dug themselves out of the hole they had put themselves in.

> VIDEO: The post-match thoughts of Warrington Wolves head coach Steve Price

Picture by Mike Boden

Picture by Mike Boden

Mitigation can be found in the lack of training time after a Covid outbreak ripped through the club – they have had just two full sessions in the past three weeks.

There was always going to be a bit of ring rust in some sense and they will hope to have blown those particular cobwebs off.

Can they play better? Of course. Will they need to as the season reaches its sharp end? Definitely.

But any victory over the old enemy is one to be savoured, however it comes.

It was not as emphatic as the 40-14 thrashing at the DW Stadium four weeks ago but in front of the returning masses, it is one to be equally satisfied with.

> Nine brilliant pictures as The Halliwell Jones Stadium welcomes back unlimited crowds

Eyebrows were certainly raised when Sitaleki Akauola lined up on the wing, with Josh Charnley coming from outside of the squad to start.

Indeed there were plenty of selections over the team selection but come the full-time hooter, they were all answered.

Blake Austin stepped up in the second half in particular for his best game for a while.

Picture by Mike Boden

Picture by Mike Boden

With Gareth Widdop on his way back and George Williams closing in on a debut, his run as the main man in the creative department may be coming to an end.

But with competition for places about to get fierce, he is serving notice that he will not give up his place lightly.

And then, of course, there was Daryl Clark.

There are not many superlatives left to describe the Wire number nine but most of the good things done with the ball on this occasion came through him.

Picture by Mike Boden

Picture by Mike Boden

With Catalans setting such a relentless pace at the top of Super League, all Warrington can do is continue to tick over and hang onto their coattails.

If they can stay consistent, which has been their biggest challenge over the past couple of seasons, they will place themselves well to launch an assault on the biggest prize.


. Fifth consecutive Wire win over their neighbours on home soil

. Mike Cooper makes his 250th Warrington appearance


Super League, Round 16

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Warrington Wolves...21 Wigan Warriors...8

Wolves: Josh Thewlis; Josh Charnley, Jake Mamo, Toby King, Sitaleki Akauola; Blake Austin, Stefan Ratchford; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Jason Clark. Subs: Joe Philbin, Robbie Mulhern, Matt Davis. Not used: Connor Wrench.

Warriors: Jackson Hastings; Jake Bibby, Willie Isa, Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall; Thomas Leuluai, Harry Smith; Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Tony Clubb, Kai Pearce-Paul, Liam Farrell, Oliver Partington. Subs: Joe Shorrocks, Ethan Havard, Liam Byrne, Amir Bourouh

Scoring: Marshall try, 16mins, 0-4; Austin try, 18mins, Ratchford goal, 6-4; Marshall try, 25mins, 6-8; Thewlis try, 39mins, Ratchford goal, 12-8; Ratchford penalty, 42mins, 14-8; Mamo try, 63mins, Ratchford goal, 20-8; Austin drop goal, 77mins, 21-8

Penalties: Wolves 3 Warriors 5

Sin bin: Mamo (69mins, fighting), Partington (69mins, fighting)

Referee: Robert Hicks

Attendance: 8,014