WHEN the 2022 season started, we all hoped Daryl Powell’s arrival would at the very least reduce the gap between Warrington Wolves and St Helens – the champion team of recent times.

However, on this evidence it is clear there it is not merely a gap that separates them at the moment. It is a great, yawning chasm.

The same probably applies to the rest of Super League but not every team is expected to be challenging as The Wire are.

Nothing is won or lost in March, but this display will only lead to more questions about whether they have the right tools to bridge this great divide.

Warrington Guardian:

Mark Percival holds off George Williams on the way to scoring. Picture by SWPix.com

There was almost an acknowledgement pre-match that the Wire pack would not be able to handle their counterparts and so it proved – with the possible exception of Mike Cooper, the forwards’ impact was again negligible.

Surely now enough has been seen to know that change is needed in that department, whether it comes from within in the shape of giving Rob Butler a run or someone being drafted in.

Perhaps the greatest disappointment of this grim night, though, was that Saints were far from at their best – they spurned chances, made errors aplenty and were indisciplined, but they still had more than enough.

They did what they do best, however, and were ruthless in taking advantage when their visitors left their door ajar.

Prior to George Williams’ sin-binning, Warrington had given their hosts something to think about with some inventive kicking and had them on the back foot.

In games like this, though, you have to take chances when they come your way and they failed to make the most of their period with an extra man.

Warrington Guardian:

Stefan Ratchford looks to evade the Saints tacklers. Picture by SWPix.com

When Sione Mata’utia was sin-binned, Wire were two points ahead. By the time he returned, they were four points behind.

When Williams went the same way, Saints scored two tries while he was off the pitch.

That said, they were still just about in the game when the second half started, but what followed was a showing that is simply unacceptable for a side with ambitions of challenging for honours.

Some of their play can only be described as shambolic – Jonny Lomax’s try took the biscuit as a ball out of dummy-half hit Joe Bullock on the head before popping up into the grateful Saints man’s arms for a walk-in.

When openings were created through going around the Saints defence, they could not capitalise thanks in part to the hosts’ relentless defence but also some poor execution.

These first five rounds always had the potential to be bumpy, but signs of progress have been alarmingly few and far between.

There is time to get it right, but there is clearly a whole lot of work to be done.