Author and Warrington Wolves fan Rob Watson – aka ‘Spirit of 55’ – has his say on Monday’s defeat to St Helens…

LOSING to Saints was always going to test the ‘it’s just good to be back at games’ theory.

It was a patchy performance from Wire – far from their best but with some good moments in there.

Wire’s recent success in matches against Saints has come when they have been able to win the battle down the middle, bullying the bullies.

That did not happen on this occasion, making a victory much more difficult. Cooper not playing seemed a significant part of that.

Instead of grinding down the middle, Wire had to rely on some of their more off-the-cuff creativity to get their two tries.

Williams was heavily involved in both on his home debut. He has always looked like the sort of half-back who is more likely to light up matches with a few important interventions, rather than controlling a game from start to finish.

From his Wire performances so far, that looks to be the case. When he drifted across from right to left, he spotted and went through the gap that his movement had help create when he set up Currie for his try.

The second try showed his try-scoring instincts, following the break down the right to be in the frame when the ball bounced up from Thewlis’ kick and finding his way to the try line from there.

Like Williams, Wire in general still look at their most dangerous on one-off plays with a bit of creativity or evasive running creating many of their breaks and tries rather than a sustained build up of pressure.

At this stage in the season I do not think their style of play is going to change, or their attack to magically become more cohesive and fluent.

So I think it is a case of emphasising what they can do rather than working on what they struggle with. Doing what they can to create chances for broken field running, late offloads and quick switches of play looks like their best chance of being successful this season.

They have to dance with what they bring to the party, rather than looking for something else.

Their decision to go for goal late on in the game was not something that I agreed with, but I am guessing they felt that kicking that goal and scoring a converted try after that and winning in golden point was their best chance of getting the win, so I accept the decision.

It is all but guaranteed now that Wire will finish third, which in theory is not too bad a place to come from in the six-team format, with potentially two home games to build some momentum before travelling to one of the top two.

Those top two are looking like excellent sides and Wire will have to beat both of them in the play-offs to become champions.

They have beaten both of them already this season though, so that should help with the belief that they can do it when it matters most.

Despite their finishing position being just about sorted already, I believe that the next three games are important for helping them to build that momentum heading into the play-offs.

Occasionally teams are able to get into the play-offs in bad form but then go on to win them, but those occurrences are too rare to be something to rely on.

Especially with the tame way their last two seasons have ended, I do not think that Wire can afford wind down for the rest of the season and save themselves for the play-offs.

And despite the result, it is good to be back.