IT was certainly a night to remember for Warrington Wolves on Friday night.

An impressive performance in the face of adversity saw them hammer Leeds Rhinos 34-8 to - temporarily at least - move back to the top of the Super League table.

Our Wire reporter Matt Turner picks out some key talking points from the Round Seven clash below...

The most special kind of victory

Okay, hands up, who saw this coming?

There may not have been many who predicted what happened in this one, and that number got smaller when the team sheets came out to show Toby King had joined Wire’s absentee list.

The availability issues that had eaten away at their middle unit had spread to the backs, and Warrington’s were truly against the wall.

However, that is what makes what followed truly special.

Finding a way to win in the face of adversity is one of the markers of a champion team and while this group has a long way to go before they can call themselves one of those, what it does do is show things are maybe starting to change.

Would the Wire side of the past two seasons have won that game? There’s plenty of doubt about that, but this group did and that is all that matters.

Warrington Guardian: George Williams roars his delightGeorge Williams roars his delight (Image:

A tick in the box for “next man up”

Those three words have become Wire’s mantra this season – selection and availability is always fluid so making sure those in reserve are ready to drop in at short notice is crucial.

Particularly in the pack, this was a massive success for that mentality.

Joe Bullock marked a lengthy and impactful stint with his first Super League try for the club – he appears to be down the pecking order but this display surely did himself no harm as he bids to move up it.

Jordy Crowther putting in a huge shift in the front row, Sam Powell doing likewise in the loose and the always-impressive James Harrison – all part of an excellent up-front effort against a Leeds pack that was pretty much at full strength.

Warrington Guardian: Joe Bullock marked his return to the side with his first Super League try for WarringtonJoe Bullock marked his return to the side with his first Super League try for Warrington (Image:

Currie’s renaissance continues

Once again, a big part of the aforementioned pack effort was an eye-catching display from Ben Currie.

This felt like a big year for the long-serving back-rower with increased competition for his usual spot in the side, but the move to loose forward seems to have unlocked another level in his game.

On paper at least, he has always appeared to possess the raw materials to make a good 13, which begs the question as to why it has taken this long to utilise him there.

Big enough to punch his nose through the line with deft enough handling to create around him, as demonstrated by the superbly-disguised short ball that sent Bullock cruising over.

The renaissance shows no sign of abating currently – long may it continue.

Warrington Guardian: Ben Currie was named as Sky Sports' player of the matchBen Currie was named as Sky Sports' player of the match (Image:

Ashton effort a turning point

Wire had actually started the game well but conceded from Leeds’ first attack, with their perceived vulnerability from kicks laid bare by Harry Newman’s try.

It showed again at the other end as Ash Handley soared above the chasers to pick off a kick on his own line and race away up-field, only to be met by a superb tackle from Matty Ashton.

With teammates joining in to bundle the Leeds man into touch, flirting somewhat with the line of legality, a scoreline that could easily have been 8-0 with a kick to come was kept at four by a brilliant defensive effort.

Indeed, Sam Burgess said post-match that Ashton’s tackle was “worth four tries” and while his jet-heeled speed is more often seen in an attacking sense, it can get his side out of a hole in defence, too.

Warrington Guardian: Ash Handley races away but Matty Ashton would halt him with a superb tackleAsh Handley races away but Matty Ashton would halt him with a superb tackle (Image: PA Wire)

The best way to head to Saints

Wire should enjoy this win for it was as hard-earned as it was impressive, but they will know the importance of refocusing quickly.

Challenge Cup draws do not come much tougher than a trip down the road to St Helens, and the mettle shown at Headingley will come under more stern examination there.

Again, Wire will be underdogs but they will roll into the Totally Wicked Stadium riding the crest of a wave.

It will need their best performance again to get the job done but they certainly have momentum, and that can go an awfully long way.

Warrington Guardian: Sam Burgess salutes the Wire fansSam Burgess salutes the Wire fans (Image: