WAS this Warrington Wolves’ biggest and most impressive win of the season?

The Challenge Cup victory at St Helens is hard to top but in terms of Super League results in 2024, The Wire appeared to reach a new high in beating in-form Hull KR on Thursday night.

For now at least, they sit top of the pile after a 20-8 triumph at The Halliwell Jones Stadium

Here, our Wire reporter Matt Turner picks out five post-match talking points in ‘The Morning After’

No hint of being distracted

With the Challenge Cup semi-finals looming large, both sides could perhaps be forgiven for having a case of wandering minds and even a hint of self-preservation.

However, there was not a bit of it from a Warrington Wolves perspective as they picked up a priceless victory.

While we are not at the stage of these games being called “four-pointers” just yet, there is certainly more of a premium on matches like this one against sides alongside them in the logjam at the top of Super League, psychologically if nothing else.

And it was clear from the start that Wire were in the mood as they produced perhaps their best half of rugby of the year in a red-hot opening 40, with the 18-point lead it gained them being more than enough thanks to some impressive second-half defence.

On the kind of form they showed at the start of this game, they will be difficult to stop.

Warrington Guardian:

Wire show both sides

It is said that defence is the bedrock of any top side – just ask St Helens, who essentially defended their way to four consecutive titles and remain the competition’s stingiest side off the ball this year.

And that is perhaps the most satisfying thing about this year’s Warrington side – they seem to enjoy and relish the defensive side of the game.

Conceding only eight points to a Hull KR side that put 40 on Saints last week and ran hot against Wigan the previous week is no mean feat and in total this season, their average points conceded across their 13 matches in all competitions is a tick under 12 points.

If that continues, the attacking flair they possess will see them victorious more often than not.

Striking the balance between attacking fluency and defensive grit is quite rare – usually one is sacrificed in favour of the other – but this was further evidence that this group of players are getting there.

Warrington Guardian: Wire celebrate forcing an error in the second halfWire celebrate forcing an error in the second half (Image: SWPix.com)

A genuine threat on either edge

Against Hull FC last week, everything in attack went down the right edge with Josh Thewlis grabbing a hat-trick of tries.

This time around against the team from the other side of the city, it was the other side of the field that was dominant.

Wire’s left edge terrorised the Robins right – a unit that contains experience aplenty in the likes of Tyrone May, Peta Hiku and Joe Burgess, but they were woefully disconnected and the hosts took full advantage.

There seems to be genuine balance about the Warrington attack right now, with George Williams having the freedom to swing either side of the ruck as opposed to being tied to one particular edge.

He was influential in both of Toby King’s tries without even touching the ball – as the Rovers defence jammed in to shut him down, space opened up outside of him.

Whatever assistant coach Martin Gleeson is doing on the training field, it is clearly working.

Warrington Guardian: Matty Ashton and the Wire left edge tormented the Hull KR rightMatty Ashton and the Wire left edge tormented the Hull KR right (Image: SWPix.com)

Kingy’s world

“We were all in Kingy’s world in that first half and it was nice.”

Those were Sam Burgess’ post-match words about his two-try centre as Toby King marked his 150th Wire appearance in some style.

This was the Toby King who was key in Wigan’s Super League title win last year. This was the Toby King that Wire handed a lucrative four-year deal to back in 2021.

On this kind of form, he is among the competition’s premier players in his position and his combination with Matty Ashton is getting increasingly lethal.

If this is what Kingy’s world is like, we don’t want to leave!

Warrington Guardian: Toby King marked his 150th Wire appearance with two triesToby King marked his 150th Wire appearance with two tries (Image: PA Wire)

Is belief in this team growing?

There still appears to be an undercurrent of expectations being low but high all at once from a Wire fanbase understandably scarred from the horrors of the past two years.

However, this was surely another big step towards winning over the people who remain sceptical and unconvinced.

There were a few who argued pre-match that Burgess’ boys were yet to enjoy a “statement” Super League victory, although the Round Four win in the reverse fixture at Craven Park is looking more impressive by the week.

It cannot be denied that this falls into that category. Yes, Hull KR were missing a key man in skipper Elliot Minchella but if we’re going down that route, Warrington were probably two short of what has become their strongest side in Leon Hayes and Connor Wrench.

They may not win every week, but there is clearly a lot to like about this side and supporters seem to be responding.

Warrington Guardian: Wire players applaud the fans post-matchWire players applaud the fans post-match (Image: SWPix.com)