OUR Guardian Fan Panel is back to discuss Warrington Wolves’ latest result and performance.

Just over 9,000 were at The Halliwell Jones Stadium to witness The Wire beat Huddersfield Giants 30-26 to avoid a third straight defeat.

Now, attention turns to the Challenge Cup and next Sunday’s mammoth quarter-final against Wigan Warriors.

Here are the thoughts of our three panel members…


I think the best way to sum up yesterday is to say we won, move on!

It wasn’t a great performance by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s another game which we can be fairly confident that we would have found a way to lose last year.

As it was, we looked like we were finding a way to lose yesterday but a combination of some desperate defence, a couple of favourable decisions and Ratchford’s unerring boot saw us home.

Our right edge was heavily criticised after Magic – and rightly so – so it was interesting to see that for the main part that side held up and it was the left (usually our stronger side) which was battered.

I saw a few potential reasons for that – George Williams was clearly not at the races yesterday in defence and attack, throw in that Matt Dufty seems out of sorts also.

Whether he has been unsettled by the suspension of his mate or has been suffering the same illness as Williams I’m not sure, but having two key defenders not firing put extra pressure on the centre/second row pairing of Ratchford & Currie, one which the excellent Fages & Naiqama exploited time and time again.

Gil Dudson had his best game for us, Vaughan was his consistent excellent self, Kasiano a threat from the off & Harrison a tireless worker out of position.

As for young Lucas Green, I thought he was excellent and is someone we should be very excited about. He reminds me of Joe Philbin in stature and approach.

My man of the match through was Danny Walker – bee sting and all. He is showing why we shouldn’t fear losing Daryl Clark, if anything we are stronger with Danny at 9 currently due to his kicking game.

If he continues to grow the way he has, I can see Danny being Man of Steel in a few years.

Wigan on Sunday – we need to play better, but so do they! Hopefully it’s a cracking game and we can prolong their agony for another week by dumping them out of the Cup.


Last night was poor.

We were all over Huddersfield in the first 40. Similar to the Hull FC match the week prior, we should have put the game to bed before half time and it almost came back to bite us for the second week running.

Thewlis and Walker continue to improve and, as always, were excellent. It was good to see Green not left to rot on the bench this week.

He showed up well for his first appearance (when he was given a decent stint on the pitch) and had the best average gain from our pack last night. He didn't make as many tacklesor carries as others but I hope he gets more game time.

I would be focusing on developing him and let him take the place of Dudson most weeks.

Peanut seems like a really nice person off the field but one thing he isn't when he's on the pitch, is a half-back.

We really need to settle on a better stand in half-back option for when we have one of our first two out. If Williams doesn't have a proper half-back partnering him, he tends to try too hard and we don't get the best out of him.

It feels like we're back in that late Steve Price era where we scrape through against poor opposition but as soon as we face a real challenge, we can't match them.

Almost every good attacking play is matched by an equally poor defensive play. This is resulting in us losing leads very quickly and its very concerning.


Heading out to the match on Saturday night, my thoughts were that we were going see two teams desperate for the win.

I wasn't expecting a classic and that’s the way it turned out really. We got a high-scoring match with some nice rugby played at times mixed in with some pretty poor defence and mistakes from both teams.

Summing up and looking to next week, I would say it's got to change. We made much harder work of this match than it should have been – twice we saw 14-point leads clawed back through poor defensive reads and mistakes and we let them back into it.

At times we played some excellent rugby though, so it's not all doom and gloom like some would have you believe on the Wire terraces.

We have to fix that defence though for next week’s cup match at Wigan – they're are a bit of a wounded animal at the moment so a very dangerous team, moreso than usual.

If we leave gaps that the Titanic could steam through or drop balls in our own half, they will punish us badly.

We know what Wire have in terms of quality, if we can see that next week we have a chance of turning Wigan over.

Let’s see which Wire team turns up.