IT seems implausible that a game in which only eight points were scored could be described as gripping.

Anybody who watched though would agree that is exactly what it was.

Despite the lack of attacking flair, this was a contest that would not have looked out of place among the game’s grandest occasions.

At its heart was a Warrington Wolves defensive performance which was quite simply incredible.

> Read and watch what Steve Price had to say about his side's display here

For so much of the second half, it seemed a matter of when not if St Helens breached the primrose and blue wall.

They have not been firing on all cylinders in attack this year, but surely the weight of pressure would tell.

The fact it didn’t was testament to a Wire display brimming with character, grit and resilience.

It is easy to pick out individual efforts – Jack Hughes putting in a superb, try-saving tackle on Joe Batchelor, for example – but this kind of display needed the buy-in of all 17 players.

As personal displays go, though, they do not get much better than Stefan Ratchford’s nerveless showing at full-back.

Saints should have known better than to continually put high balls onto his head as he snaffled them almost without fail, while it was his bullet pass that freed Tom Lineham to set up the only try of the game for Ben Currie.

And all of that came after he sustained a heavy knock to his back in the game’s early stages having saved a certain Alex Walmsley try.

Chris Hill and Mike Cooper, meanwhile, were relentless in the front row and ensured the vaunted St Helens pack did not make much of a dent.

And a word for the right edge, targeted so often in defence this season but they were able to shackle a very dangerous left side.

Added up, it makes a result that will surely see people sit up and take notice.

For those who follow The Wire week in week out, though, this kind of display makes ones like the Challenge Cup semi final even more frustrating.

As Steve Price rightly said post-match, the key to making sure they are able to put performances like this in at the business end in the big games is consistency.

They will surely gain huge amounts of confidence and momentum from this result, but it will count for little if it does not lead to an extended run.


. Wire’s fourth win in a row over St Helens

. Their first away win over Saints in a regular season match since 2016

. Jack Hughes makes his 150th appearance


Super League, Round 10

Thursday, June 17, 2021

St Helens...2 Warrington Wolves...6

Saints: Lachlan Coote; Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Jack Welsby, Regan Grace; Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages; Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Sione Mata'utia, Morgan Knowles. Subs: Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Joe Batchelor, Lewis Dodd

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Jake Mamo, Toby King, Tom Lineham; Blake Austin, Gareth Widdop; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Joe Philbin. Robbie Mulhern, Matt Davis, Sitaleki Akauola, Danny Walker

Scoring: Coote penalty, 13mins, 2-0; Currie try, 22mins, Widdop goal, 2-6

Penalties: Saints 6 Wolves 3

Referee: Chris Kendall

Attendance: 4,000