Author and Warrington Wolves fan Rob Watson has his say on the Magic Weekend win over Wigan…

ANY win against the evil empire can be described as magic, but this one was more a triumph for pragmatism rather than fantasy.

Whilst their attack looked stuck somewhere around second gear, Wire did well to stay in the grind and not give possession or territory away too easily.

It quickly settled into being a classic ‘arm wrestle’ type of game and never looked like breaking free from that.

With the play-offs coming up and the likelihood that Wire will need to win at least one game of that type to be successful at Old Trafford, it was good to see them being able stay patient.

Wire’s defence was excellent, admittedly against a relatively toothless Wigan attack. At times this year Wire’s defence has been outstanding, most notably in their wins away to Catalans and St Helens.

Hopefully it is something that they can reproduce when they need it most, as they will have to win at one of those venues again and beat the other team at Old Trafford to be champions.

Other plusses from the game were the performances of Thewlis and Walker, both showing that they are more than capable back-ups.

Injuries can happen at any time, so the more depth in the squad the better. Thewlis could even be staking a claim to be first choice.

Wire also look to have plenty of depth at prop this season and Cooper’s return to the team was most welcome.

They will probably have to play noticeably faster to beat Saints and Catalans and produce more ball movement and creativity.

With third place secured, Wire are perfectly placed to use the last two games of the regular season to build momentum for the play-offs.

Defensively, that will mean being as ruthless as they can and protecting their try line as if their life depended on it.

In attack, I would think they would be focussing on ways to speed up their game and look to create more breaks out wide.

This season has flown by – literally, playing significantly fewer games than normal.

With all the match postponements and starting the season with matches behind closed doors, it feels like we have got to the play-offs before the season has properly got going.

After the tame surrenders in the play-offs in the last two seasons, hopefully Wire have had plenty of time to be able to hit the ground running this year.