“NEXT man up.”

The three words that have become Warrington Wolves’ mantra in 2024 – an acknowledgement that everyone, not matter their perceived place in the pecking order, has a role to play.

On Friday, they provided the biggest piece of evidence yet that it is a mentality worth believing in.

We have already seen its power this year in the displays of youngsters Leon Hayes and Adam Holroyd, who have made spots in the 17 their own, but when their depth in such a key area of the field was eaten away at, they needed that more than ever.

There were plenty of worries about the Wire pack’s ability to compete when shorn of so much size and experience, but they did more than that. They excelled.

It was perhaps less about ground gained and more about being able to move the ball quickly from the middle, whether through speedy play-the-balls or deft passing, to unleash a backs division where despite Toby King’s absence, they remained strong and full of strike.

Such was the collective effort in that area of the field, it seems unfair to pick out individuals but the displays of Ben Currie and James Harrison were truly special among it.

Having gone about his clean and effective work largely in the shadow of Paul Vaughan’s eye-catching brilliance thus far, Harrison showed why he is so highly valued among his teammates. This kind of showing saw him emerge as a real leader and he will surely be a cornerstone of the pack for years to come.

And as for Currie, is it too soon to call his move to loose forward career-altering? Perhaps, but what can be said for certain is that he is playing his best rugby for many a year having been switched to the middle.

They may have been outgunned in terms of size, but the Wire pack out-manoeuvred their counterparts to help their side to an ultimately comfortable win.

Of course, there were hairy moments – it would have been interesting, for example, to see their reaction had the contentious but correct decision from video referee Tom Grant to disallow Paul Momirovski’s second-half try gone against them – but Warrington were by far the most convincing team on the night.

This kind of victory, with backs against the wall coming off a defeat and with key players missing, builds the body of evidence that there is something very likeable about this Wire squad.

They may not get it right all of the time but one thing you can appear to count on them for is the very basics of effort, grit and togetherness. That alone will at least make sure they compete in every game and a lot of the time, it will get them over the line.

It remains to be seen whether they can add the little it extra you need to get over the top of the competition’s elite – a big test of that comes next – but what Warrington fans can expect is that this group will not knuckle under.

That in itself is something they can get behind.