WARRINGTON Wolves are about to enter a crucial period in their season.

Over the next month, we will find out a lot more about how the 2024 season will be remembered at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in some respects and how equipped they are to challenge on every front.

In that period, one of the three available prizes will either be in the trophy cabinet or off the table but the beauty of the Challenge Cup being moved earlier in the season is that by the time the Wembley final is played, the regular Super League season will only be half done.

First up comes what should be a cracker on Thursday night as Hull KR visit The Halliwell Jones Stadium in Round 11 of Super League.

The Wire edged a thriller at Craven Park in Round Four in what remains arguably their most impressive league result under Sam Burgess, but the Robins are genuine top-four contenders and will provide a tough examination.

While Thursday night games are not the most popular, the timing of the game probably helps both Burgess and his counterpart Willie Peters, both of whom have Challenge Cup semi-finals to plan for after the game.

From a Warrington perspective, a lengthy 10-day turnaround between matches means a healthy balance between rest and preparation can be struck. As such, it would be a surprise to see either coach go with anything other than his strongest available side.

Then, “the big one” – the clash with Huddersfield Giants at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday, May 19 for the chance to step out at Wembley for the first time since 2019.

Wire will start the game as favourites, but the Giants have shown themselves to be a highly capable outfit in 2024 so nothing less than the kind of performance that saw off St Helens in the quarters is likely to be enough.

The outcome of that game and the other semi-final between Hull KR and Wigan Warriors may well dictate how the two games that follow them sit in terms of priorities.

Six days after the semi-final, The Wire make their second trip to Perpignan of the year to face Catalans Dragons on May 25 before their first meeting with Wigan Warriors of the year on Saturday, June 1.

Should they make it to Wembley, how Burgess handles those two games immediately before it in terms of selection will be key as with the Super League table currently so packed, losing games to teams around you can be damaging and while there will be time aplenty to claw back any deficit, they will be conscious of giving themselves too much work to do.

Then, the hope of everybody is that this key period comes to an end with a Challenge Cup Final appearance on Saturday, June 8.

A season-defining four weeks? In some respects, yes. Perhaps not in others, but we’ll certainly be better informed about what to expect from Burgess’ boys by its end.