WELL that was much more like it.

After weeks of drab and lifeless displays, this was a much-needed step in the right direction for Warrington Wolves.

One swallow does not make a summer and nobody should come away from this game thinking all of their many issues are suddenly fixed, but this Wire side finally gave their fans something to smile about.

They simply had to show something – anything – that suggested a corner was about to be turned, and they did.

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Reports of ‘reset camps’ and brutal team meetings have rumbled throughout the past couple of weeks while they have been out of action and maybe, just maybe, they have done the trick.

For Daryl Powell’s expansive style to take effect, they need a platform and they got one on this occasion thanks to the work of Robbie Mulhern and Mike Cooper through the middle.

Both got through long and effective opening stints, with Cooper playing 50 minutes uninterrupted before eventually coming off, to give Wire the kind of solid base they have often lacked.

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Off the back of that, they could show more adventure with the ball and while it didn’t always come off, there was noticeably more zip and gusto about the attack.

In the end, it showed on the scoreboard as the left edge that often shone last year stepped forward again.

Gareth Widdop, Ben Currie and Toby King looked like the kind of cohesive unit that often caused teams problems during 2021, with all three having comfortably their best games of the season to date.

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Add to that Matty Ashton, who continues to grow into his role on the wing, and you have a dangerous and threatening unit when on song.

Stefan Ratchford stepped into George Williams’ shoes pretty seamlessly while in his usual position of full-back, Josh Thewlis put in a solid, confidence-boosting display.

It can be argued that they left some points out there against a Red Devils side that were their own worst enemy at times in terms of discipline, but there was undoubted progress.

What may well please Daryl Powell most, though, was his side’s attitude.

It is that which has been questioned openly over the past month or so, so it was pleasing to see the side playing with a bit of fire in their belly.

Salford threw plenty at them with the ball and when that has happened through this year, they have tended to crumble.

On this occasion, they did not and while they’ll be disappointed to concede three tries, for the most part their defence was solid.

A very pleasing improvement, but now the task is to ensure this is not merely a flash in the pan.

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