NOT many people would have seen this coming after 20 minutes.

Such was the dominance Hull KR were exerting against a Wire side that looked devoid of energy, there were fears this could be a damaging evening for them.

They were being dominated in collisions, they had zero control of the ruck area or the tackle which allowed Rovers to offload at will and whenever they did have the ball, they conceded it way too cheaply.

While the issues that plagued them in the opening quarter should not be swept under the carpet, The Wire deserve immense credit for what happened thereafter.

Having kept themselves in the game, they set about turning it around by showing the kind of intent and intensity that has deserted them for several weeks.

Warrington Guardian: The celebrations that followed Matty Ashton's game-clinching tryThe celebrations that followed Matty Ashton's game-clinching try (Image: Mike Boden)

Key in providing that was the bench – there was an almost immediate uplift in performance when the cabs started to roll off the rank.

Sam Kasiano provided punch while having been introduced earlier than he may have expected, Matt Dufty put in the kind of display that would serve as a warning to his head coach not to consider dropping him again.

With the game still in the balance going into the final quarter, it was quite the time to introduce Daryl Clark to the fray and he brought about some key organisation to the Warrington attack.

The biggest plaudits, however, have to go to Joe Philbin for a performance that was arguably his best since well before the agonising ACL injury that cost him nine months of his career.

Just shy of 200 metres made in a powerful, uninterrupted stint which started just past the midway point of the first half and did not finish until five minutes from the full-time hooter – a simply incredible display from a man with this club and town in his heart.

Warrington Guardian: Joe Philbin made nearly 200 metres with the ballJoe Philbin made nearly 200 metres with the ball (Image: Mike Boden)

It was the kind of showing akin to the form he had back in 2019 – a season that ended with a Challenge Cup winner’s medal and a Great Britain call-up.

Everyone of a Wire persuasion will be hoping Philbin’s display was a sign of things to come, with the same also being true of Josh McGuire.

He has had his detractors since coming into the side but a move into the back row to cover Matty Nicholson’s absence brought about his best performance for the club to date.

Warrington Guardian: Josh McGuire scored a try and made a crucial try-saving tackle having moved into the back rowJosh McGuire scored a try and made a crucial try-saving tackle having moved into the back row (Image: Mike Boden)

With the turnaround complete, The Halliwell Jones Stadium was reverberating to the sound of a jubilant primrose and blue army after what felt at times like a play-off match in terms of competitiveness.

Following a game from which both sides must emerge with some kind of credit, it is clearly possible we could see them run it back when the bigger games come calling in a few short months.