How does one clear up a conundrum like Steve Price’s Warrington Wolves? Any supporter of Super League’s largest underachievers in latest seasons might be effectively conscious that nights like this, profitable at Saint Helens, so typically change into a false daybreak, all of the extra so contemplating their earlier type this season.
For all the things they’ve accomplished effectively in patches of late, Warrington have been terrible in different key moments. That was illustrated two weeks in the past, after they fell aside of their largest sport of the season thus far, the Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Castleford Tigers. But this, their fourth league victory in a row, actually urged there’s lots to battle for this season.
For all their inconsistency in efficiency, this was a show that may have earned the respect of even their fiercest critics. To come to the house of the champions and stop them from scoring a try all night is about as decisive a marker as a crew can lay down by way of title credentials. Of course the inconsistency that has bedevilled the Wolves by means of components of this 12 months has to vanish. But this was a completely spectacular show.
“We showed a lot of guts tonight,” Price stated after Ben Currie’s sole try proved to be the distinction right here. “They’re the champions for a reason but that shows the backbone and steel we’ve got.” Price himself has come underneath strain in his closing season on the membership earlier than returning to Australia however by way of Super League his facet look to be clicking by means of the gears as the common season approaches its midway level in 2021.
Currie’s first-half end following an outstanding cut-out ball to Tom Lineham was the one try of the sport. It got here after Lachlan Coote put the Saints 2-0 forward from the kicking tee however that was all of the hosts have been in a position to muster by way of scoring, and Stefan Ratchford ought to have had one other for Wolves however spilled the ball. Certainly Warrington have been defensively magnificent, significantly within the closing levels, however this was an uncharacteristic efficiency in assault from the champions.
“I thought we played plenty of stuff but we were a bit disjointed,” the Saints coach, Kristian Woolf, stated. “We were a long way off the mark.” They actually had their possibilities all through, although, with one of the best of them coming as the sport entered a pulsating closing quarter.
At instances the match felt like one on the enterprise finish of the season given the depth and aggression on show from each groups, one thing that bodes effectively for the play-offs later this 12 months.
But when the sport’s essential moments arrived, it was Warrington who emerged unscathed. Each error felt an increasing number of decisive as the sport entered the closing moments and, with such as Stefan Ratchford excellent at full-back for the Wolves, they have been in a position to quell a sustained spell of St Helens strain when it mattered most.
This consequence could not imply a lot by way of the title however psychologically it’ll absolutely give Warrington supreme confidence heading into the second half of 2021.