WARRINGTON Wolves head into the Challenge Cup break in quite a position, with a four-point cushion at the top of Super League.

For a long time, it looked like they would end Round 12 level on points with Hull KR after the Robins took a 12-0 lead at The Halliwell Jones Stadium following a dominant opening quarter.

However, The Wire produced a sterling riposte to earn a 21-14 victory, with a number of individuals standing out.

Here are five that caught our Warrington Wolves reporter Matt Turner’s eye with a few honourable mentions…

Warrington Guardian:


What a performance from him – my man of the match by some distance.

This wasn’t just his best display since returning from his ACL injury in my book, but his best for a while before even that.

Every carry in his lung-busting stint of over an hour was as impactful as the last as he regularly stuck his hand up to take in two – sometimes even three – carries per set.

In total, he made 135 metres – comfortably more than any other forward on either side and second only to George Williams (151) overall.

Those kind of efforts inspire those on the field alongside you and his teammates duly followed as The Wire turned things around.

If this is a sign of things to come, we can expect big things from the hometown hero.

Warrington Guardian: Joe Philbin made 135 metres with the ball against Hull KRJoe Philbin made 135 metres with the ball against Hull KR (Image: Mike Boden)


I did wonder whether a move into the back row might bring a little bit more out of the experienced Aussie.

That proved to be the case as he put in his best showing in a Wire shirt so far having stepped into the injured Matty Nicholson’s shoes on the right edge.

There seemed to be much more aggression, intent and threat about his play and given Nicholson is facing a 10-week absence, Wire will be hoping that continues.

Equally as crucial as his try before half time – perhaps even more so – was his try-saving tackle on Elliot Minchella with the score at 12-0. If he does not pull that off, a comeback would have been extremely unlikely.

Another performance that can be seen as encouraging moving forward.

Warrington Guardian: Josh McGuire scored his first Warrington try having moved into the second rowJosh McGuire scored his first Warrington try having moved into the second row (Image: Mike Boden)


“Don’t even thinking about benching me again.”

That was what this performance from Wire’s number one appeared to scream, with Daryl Powell himself declaring Dufty looked like “a man on a mission.”

With Josh Thewlis struggling, he was brought on perhaps earlier than expected but almost immediately, there was an uplift in the team’s display.

He helped put a previously comfortable Hull KR defence onto the back foot. After all, there’s nothing worse than dealing with raw speed when you’re back-pedalling towards your own line.

Even without the head injury to Matty Russell that is likely to see Thewlis pressed into action on the wing again, Dufty’s display would surely have been good enough to win back his starting role regardless.

Warrington Guardian: Matt DuftyMatt Dufty (Image: Mike Boden)


With the game finely poised, whomever handled the final quarter better was to take victory.

What better time, then, to introduce Daryl Clark from the bench.

It can surely be no coincidence that Wire’s decisive push for victory came after the hooker’s introduction as he built on the groundwork left by another decent shift from Danny Walker.

There always seems to be a better shape and organisation about Warrington’s attack when Clark is on the field, evidenced by the lovely edge move that put Matty Ashton over for the game-clinching late try.

If, as expected, he does leave the club at season’s end, this kind of display shows he will take some replacing.

Warrington Guardian: Daryl ClarkDaryl Clark (Image: Mike Boden)


Things got off to a bit of a bumpy start for the big man, whose first contribution to the game was being pinged for a messy play-the-ball to put an end to his side’s first real spell of pressure in the first half.

However, it was his introduction alongside that of Philbin and Dufty that helped lift Warrington when they were down in the dumps.

His sheer size attracts defenders and when that is coupled with his deft handling, it causes real uncertainty in the opposition ranks.

With some huge games coming up, Powell will want more of the same from his biggest gun.

Warrington Guardian: Sam Kasiano rumbles forward against Hull KRSam Kasiano rumbles forward against Hull KR (Image: Mike Boden)

Honourable mentions

George Williams took things into his own hands as he often does – another hard-working, 28-carry shift and real leadership shown in directing traffic for his late drop goal to cap a near-perfect set after points following Matty Ashton’s try.

Joe Bullock again was solid, particularly in his second stint, while Paul Vaughan quietly rumbled past the 100m mark again despite carrying a knock.

A word for Stefan Ratchford, too. He has had plenty of criticism thrown his way – some of it justified – but made decent metres with the ball, finally found the crucial pass to put Ashton over and was typically nerveless from the kicking tee.