Author and Warrington Wolves fan Rob Watson – aka Spirit of 55 – has his say on Thursday's win at Castleford...

THE last game of the regular season was just about a perfect microcosm of the whole year.

Moments of individual brilliance made up for a lack of sustained pressure, too many mistakes, poor discipline and what looked like a collective lapse in concentration.

Defence at times looking strong, other times looking worryingly brittle. Thrilling the fans and frustrating them. Ultimately showing some resilience, scoring plenty of points and winning the game.

It looks like the squad have at least looked to improve on the last couple of seasons by putting an emphasis on finishing the season as strongly as possible to go into the play-offs with some momentum.

Losing to Castleford could easily have left Wire facing the same opponents in the play-offs the following week, and that would have been awkward for a few reasons.

Hopefully the players who missed this game but could be fit for next week will be and that the disciplinary committee go easy on Cooper, then Price can have just about a full-strength squad to choose from.

This team has been far from perfect, but now is the time to focus on what they can do rather than what they cannot. To be successful in the play-offs, they will have to excel at what they do best.

What Wire do have is a large collection of individual players who are exceptional at making breaks and conjuring tries out of the blue.

In Ratchford, Ashton, Mamo, King, Austin, Widdop, Williams, Currie and Daryl Clark, Wire have more players that any other team in Super League who are likely to produce a moment of magic to blow a game wide open.

Whether that moment is a brilliant piece of footwork, excellent line of run, sheer pace or a piece of opportunism, it makes Wire difficult to play against and prepare for. They are the sort of team that can be behind on all the so called ‘performance indicators’ and still win the game.

Crucially in the play-offs, it cannot be a case of everyone waiting around for someone else to produce something.

Every single player needs to take responsibility for doing their job as well as possible, including those who are most likely to produce one of those eye-catching, memorable and perhaps game-winning moments.

As always, they will need to be tough down the middle and at least match their opponents in that battle. Defensively, they must find the levels of concentration and intensity that they had in their wins away to Catalans and St Helens.

With no second chances coming from third position, they cannot afford to have any more bad games.

If they do get to travel back to St Helens, they will probably have to raise their level of performance all over again. It is not supposed to be easy, it is supposed to be worth it.

Wire do not go into this play-off series as favourites but in boxing or MMA parlance, I believe they go in with a puncher’s chance. They are capable of landing knockout blows from many different angles.

Narratives are getting talked about more and more in sport. For once, I feel that Wire potentially have the strongest narrative working for them rather than another team.

The coach is leaving along with his assistants including a club legend, players will be making their last appearances, including another legend and former captain.

The vibe I am picking up off the squad is that in amongst all the imperfection, they are all pulling together to help give all those people the perfect leaving present.

Of course, each team in the play-offs will have their own story. Stories can work as motivation when people believe in them, Wire need to believe in their story more than any other team believes in theirs.

If an eighteen-year-old tennis player is able to make her own fairytale of New York a reality, then Wire have a chance to write a happy ending to their own story and make theirs and our dreams come true.