Pictures Eddie Whitham
WARRINGTON Wolves moved to the cusp of the Super League top eight places for the first time this season with a 40-18 win over St Helens.
Youngster Harvey Livett, who collected the man-of-the-match award, inspired the Wolves to 36 unanswered points as they came from 14-0 down to blow away the visitors, moving them level on points in the table with the visitors and Catalans.
Although Saints did stop the rot midway through the second half, Warrington had the final say as centre Ryan Atkins scored his 200th career try.
Both sides were missing players due to the England game at the weekend – Warrington without Stefan Ratchford, Kevin Brown and Chris Hill, while Saints were without Mark Percival and Alex Walmsley.
Saints, buoyed by the announcement of new coach Justin Holbrook in midweek, were dealt a blow prior to kick-off when experienced back-rower Jon Wilkin was forced out of the action with a suspected thigh injury.
They shrugged that off to score in the opening minute, winger Adam Swift crossing in the right corner as Saints created the overlap.
Tommy Makinson added the conversion, and on 12 minutes he tagged on a penalty after a sustained period of pressure from the visitors.
At 8-0 down, Warrington twice went over the line only to be denied by the video referee, one perhaps somewhat harshly when Tom Lineham had seemed to get over under pressure from Swift, with the on-field call of no-try perhaps couting against the Wolves.
On 26 minutes, Saints extended their lead, as Australian centre Ryan Morgan powered over.
A Saints error on the half hour mark gifted Warrington field position, and an enthusiastic Benjamin Julien took a flat ball to get the hosts on the scoreboard.
That prompted a key spell of the game where the Wolves were able to get themselves back in to the game before the break, Mike Cooper’s converted try meaning the deficit was just two at half time at 14-12.
A sign of what was to come perhaps came straight from the kick-off as Adam Walker knocked on, gifting Warrington field position.
Though nothing came of that move, it was a Saints error that would enable Warrington to take the lead. Theo Fages’ loose pass fell to the ground on 45 minutes, and Livett reacted quickest to scoop up the ball and race 50 metres for the try.
By now, Livett was enjoying himself and he sent Rhys Evans crashing over from close range to put the Wolves 24-14 in front on 52 minutes.
Yet again a Saints error, this time a misplaced pass by Makinson, was pounced upon by the Wolves and it was Lineham who benefited this time, running in unopposed from 50 minutes.
It was virtually game over moments later, as the Wolves made it back-to-back scores as Evans break resulted in Atkins having a walk in on his side.
Saints did eventually stop the procession with a try through Dominique Peyroux on 72 minutes, but the damage was already done.
Atkins managed to crown a superb display with his landmark try towards the end, which now means Warrington have earned 11 points from the last 14, and they move in to the top eight.
Warrington: Gidley, Russell, Evans, Atkins, Lineham, Patton, Livett, Cooper, Dwyer, Sims, Julien, Hughes, Westwood. Subs: G King, Crosby, Philbin, Smith.
— Matthew Russell (@mattyrussell3) May 5, 2017
— Jack Johnson (@JackkJohnsonn) May 5, 2017
Great win from the lads tonight, we needed it!! 💪🏻🏉 #wire
— Ben Currie (@BenoCurrie) May 5, 2017
Enjoyed that one. The reception of the fans was class! Good to be back. @wolvesrl
— Dom Crosby (@domcrosby) May 5, 2017
TS ‘We made some really costly errors early on, but we fought back really well to win the game’
— Warrington Wolves (@wolvesrl) May 5, 2017
What a night the fans had the stadium rocking tonight love playin games like that ! Big win for us time to climb the table now @wolvesrl 🔶🔷
— Joe Philbin (@philbss) May 5, 2017
Great win for us tonight thought are young guys stood up 👊 #wire
— Daryl Clark (@Darylclark9) May 5, 2017