WHERE have this Warrington Wolves side been all season?

Saying that after a defeat seems strange, but this performance contained much more of the kind of thing supporters have been longing to see.

All things considered, this was probably their best 80-minute performance of the season – it would be a struggle to say they played as well as they did here in any of the five wins they have managed to muster so far.

One could argue most other Super League sides running into The Wire on this occasion would have been beaten, but if anything that shows how special a side St Helens are.

Warrington Guardian:

Joe Philbin drags a dejected Oliver Holmes from the floor at full time. Picture by PA Wire

They will freely admit they were not at their best – they were clunky with the ball and vulnerable on the edges – but they found a way to grind out another win.

That is the kind of quality Warrington are striving to find, but more performances containing this level of courage and grit will see them on the right path.

If they could have executed a couple of key moments slightly better, they may well have gone away with the victory many feel their efforts merited.

The one that stands out is Connor Wrench’s late break down the sideline, rounding Jonny Lomax before being halted by a superb, game-winning tackle from Tommy Makinson.

If he had his time again, would he have kicked the ball back inside as opposed to flinging a desperate offload?

Perhaps, but that one moment should not detract from another stellar display from the youngster – probably just behind the outstanding Gareth Widdop in the Wire man of the match stakes.

Warrington Guardian:

Gareth Widdop put in an outstanding display at full-back. Picture by Mike Boden

In consigning Josh Charnley to the sidelines – and ultimately a future away from the club – Daryl Powell has placed a lot of faith in Wrench and he repaid him on this occasion with another performance to get fans out of their seats.

With him and Matty Ashton on either wing, Warrington possess pace that will frighten any side and they did their best to unleash it with a “round rather than through” approach with the ball.

They will no doubt need to tidy things up in attacking areas in terms of composure and quality and they will definitely think twice before trying to win a cheap scrum penalty again, but most Wire fans will have left the stadium feeling satisfied with their side.

That said, it is still a defeat – their eighth in 13 Super League games – and that means it is paramount that this performance is built upon and turned into results in the second half of the season.