"WIN and you're in" was the simple equation for Warrington Wolves on Friday night - and they did just that.

They put themselves in the play-off mix with victory at Huddersfield Giants in Round 27 and can now look forward to an eliminator tie at St Helens.

Here, our Wire reporter Matt Turner picks out some key talking points from the game...

Warrington Guardian:

Wire get what they came for

It didn’t really matter how it looked, Warrington Wolves just needed a win here to avoid the ignominy of finishing outside the play-offs despite winning their first eight matches.

They did not want to be known for making history for the wrong kinds of reasons but now, they still have a shot of making it for the right ones.

Did they miss a chance to make things a lot more comfortable for themselves after going 12-0 up so early? Probably, but the reality is Huddersfield never got to within a score of the lead.

Part of that can be put down to their own wastefulness but on the whole, Wire defended their errors pretty well and stayed calm to nudge themselves out of range in the final quarter.

Put simply, they got what they came for.

Substance over style

It was clear in this game that Wire had adopted a style they feel would get them through the kind of pressure games they have been falling down in of late.

It certainly needs refining as they cannot keep making the number of errors they have been doing in the company they now keep, but the foundations are certainly there.

Turning the ball over on your terms, making your opposition come out of corners and taking the points when they’re on offer might not be classed as sexy, but it’s been proven to be effective.

And it allowed them to hold their nerve and get over the line when things could have got tight in the second half, especially when Will Pryce scored for Huddersfield and news came through that Salford had pulled level against Catalans.

They have not exactly thrived under that kind of pressure of late, but the way in which they managed to ride out the potential storm will give them heart.

Middles step up in Vaughan’s absence

Whatever you think of the decision to ban Paul Vaughan for four games and therefore end his season when Wire needed him most, the team must get on with it now.

While the Australian is clearly a totemic presence in the front row, Warrington do still have a solid pack without him and the remaining members of it needed to step up in his absence.

They certainly did that, with James Harrison to the fore with a superb performance on both sides of the ball.

The same can be said of Tom Mikaele and Jordan Crowther while Joe Philbin also added plenty from the bench.

More of the same will be needed next week, but this was a promising start.

The importance of a good goal-kicker

At this time of year especially, goal-kicking is often so crucial and Wire are lucky enough to have one of Super League’s very best.

Indeed, it was Stefan Ratchford’s nerveless kicking from the tee that proved the difference in this game – there are plenty unconvinced by what he brings to the team at centre, but this side of his game is so valuable.

He single-handedly kicked his side out of range by landing four second-half penalties to extend his impressive recent record from the tee.

He has now been successful with his last 26 kicks at goal – the last time he failed to split the posts was in attempting to convert his own try in the defeat at Leeds Rhinos at the end of last month.

If Wire are to make a dent in the play-offs, this kind of accuracy will no doubt play a big part.

Can Wire seize the underdog mentality?

There are not too many people around who are truly convinced that Wire can make any sort of impact in the end-of-season shake-up.

On paper, their road to Old Trafford is fraught with danger – a trip to a St Helens side whose push for a fifth straight title has gathered momentum at the right time and if they can get through that, they face the small matter of a visit to Wigan Warriors.

Considering they have not beaten either of their neighbours for more than two years, it is easy to see why people consider Wire as nothing more than cannon fodder at this stage.

However, they have been on both sides of the underdog spirit enough times through the years to know the power it has.

They go into the play-offs without the weight of expectation on their shoulders and if they can play with the freedom that brings, they could surprise a few people.