Wolves season review 2004
- Published 01/01/04 3:00 pm
- Warrington Wolves archive
Same old story as
Wolves miss their chance
by Gary Skentelbery
WARRINGTON failed to take their chances and missed out on a golden opportunity to record their first ever Super League victory at St Helens.
Saints scored four tries in 10 second half minutes as they battled back from a 6-2 half-time deficit to win 28-8.
Saints were truly dreadful in the first half - making 12 errors and missing 26 tackles - but Warrington wasted the chance to take control of the game.
Prop Danny Lima was the worst culprit when he dropped the ball in front of the sticks, and the Wolves had to settle for a 6-2 lead thanks to Nathan Woods' opportunist try just before the interval.
The scrum-half caught Saints napping with a quick tap penalty five yards out and wriggled over the line.
A Daryl Cardiss penalty stretched the lead to 8-2 after 43 minutes, but Saints finally rediscovered their attacking skills after nearly 50 minutes.
Paul Sculthorpe - who had earlier twice kicked out on the full - broke through the line and his perfectly timed pass sent winger Darren Albert over in the corner. Sculthorpe added the extras but Warrington would have retaken the lead through Jerome Guisset but for a superb tackle on the line by Paul Wellens.
That seemed to inspire Saints and two tries in as many minutes took them clear. First Jon Wilkin's cut-out pass sent Ian Hardman over, then Jason Hooper set up Willie Talau to score.
With 15 minutes left Maurie Fa'asavalu broke away to increase the lead, before another break from Sculthorpe sent Hooper over under the sticks.
Warrington coach Paul Cullen admitted his side missed a golden opportunity to beat their fierce local rivals.
Cullen's side led 8-2 going into the final half-hour, but five Saints tries in the space of 20 minutes turned the game on its head.
Cullen said: "Our frustrations are evident and obvious. The first 60 minutes of the game were ours, and the last 20 were theirs.
"We were very dominant, especially around the rucks, but our inability to finish the plays we created has been our undoing once again.
"I'm proud of the effort, but it only adds to the frustration at not finishing off St Helens when we had the chance.
"The way we've gone about our game was great without Lee Briers and after losing Graham Appo at half-time, but it only adds to the frustration at not finishing off our plays - the building is in place but there is no roof.
"We can compete but we need to know how to finish off sides. That will not go away until we make it go away."
St Helens coach Ian Millward, in contrast, was happy to take the two points from a game where his side were far from their best.
Millward admitted: "We were just happy to win the game. It was the lowest completion rate since I've been at the club - 35% - but defence won it for us.
"The attack was poor but the defence was outstanding. We've come up with an ugly performance in attack but it shows our attitude in defence. This is a tough sport, and they don't need me throwing it down their throats.
"But I thought their defence was outstanding too. They've drawn with Bradford and beaten Wigan so they are not a bad side - it's not like they are Halifax from 2003, they are a good team."