WE all read the comments pre-match and we all hoped they would actually translate onto the pitch.

However, once again it quickly became clear that this game was going to take a turn that has become depressingly familiar.

Within 15 minutes, Warrington Wolves once again had a mountain to climb after another alarming period of defensive ineptitude.

Leeds Rhinos tortured a right edge that was once again completely changed from the previous week – Ash Handley’s second try in particular was almost comically easy.

Matt Dufty quickly found out that defending at third man in is a completely different kettle of fish to doing so at full-back – he was the latest square peg to fill the round hole left by George Williams’ absence and while it was worth a go, it was a gamble that did not work.

Amid that chaos, there was a youngster in Adam Holroyd playing only his fourth senior game in the back row, just back from a serious injury. Considering the circumstances, he stood up well compared to some more senior teammates.

Besides him, were there any positives?

Given the pressure they were under, Wire did well to remain just about in the game for as long as they were, the back three carried the ball with aggression and there were solid stints in the middle once again from Paul Vaughan and Joe Bullock.

Beyond that, anybody would struggle.

The Rhinos showed the blend of control and threat with the ball and organisation and grit without it that Wire hit them with exactly 19 weeks prior to this in Round One. How the tables have turned.

There seemed to be no semblance of a plan in attack from Warrington and while being without a world-class operator such as Williams would hurt any team, it can be argued that these issues even pre-dated his injury.

For that, you have to look beyond the pitch and up to the coaching box – the same box in which a desolate-looking Daryl Powell sat almost motionless for a good 15 minutes following the full-time hooter.

He will continue to fight his corner and is not a man to quit, but he did carry the look of someone who knows the heat is turning up on him, even if that is more from the fan base than the boardroom.

Powell may not be a great lover of social media, but even he could not have missed the boos that rang around The Halliwell Jones Stadium at both half time and full time.

Whether he agrees with the reaction or not, the people who pay their hard-earned money to follow his side are making their feelings clear.

There remains the argument that, in spite of everything that has happened of late, Warrington remain in a good position to reach the top six which, at the end of the day, is all that matters in this current season structure.

By the same token, however, there is increasing scepticism about that train of thought given what we are seeing on the field at the moment and what is coming up.

St Helens arrive next week, a trip to Wigan follows and reinforcements appear to be nowhere close both internally and otherwise – numbers may yet be depleted further if Sam Kasiano ends up banned for the careless shoulder charge that saw him sin-binned.

Somehow, someway, the answers have to be found from within. For now, though, there are only questions. And lots of them.