Pictures Eddie Whitham
WARRINGTON Wolves lay down a marker with a bruising 6-2 win away at reigning Super League champions St Helens.
Having missed out on setting up a Wembley date with the back-to-back champions in the Challenge Cup, the Wolves made sure their rivals knew they’re still in contention for Super League glory with a gutsy one-try victory.
All the points came in the first half, where Warrington started in a crisp manner, dictating the early minutes.
It would be the hosts that registered the first points though, having soaked up a bit of pressure on their own line, with Lachlan Coote converting a penalty goal on 13 minutes.
There was 22 minutes on the clock by the time the first, and what would turn out to be only, try of the game was scored – a break down the left finished off by Ben Currie.
Gareth Widdop added the extras, though missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time which would have given the Wolves a bit of breathing space.
As it was, Saints remained well in striking distance and the two heavyweights went at it in a manner not too dissimilar to the war of attrition that Saints won against Wigan in last year’s Grand Final.
A Jack Hughes tackle denied Joe Batchelor a try, and then the captain almost scored a try of his own at the other end, just failing to get on the end of a Widdop kick.
As time ticked in to the final 10 minutes, Warrington found themselves under all sorts of pressure, conceding multiple repeat sets on their own line, but the hosts just couldn’t find a way through.
With three minutes to play, flying winger Tommy Makinson thought he had levelled things up, only to be rightly called back by referee Chris Kendall for a forward pass by Jonny Lomax, the England international rushed to make his play by the quick defence of Toby King.
Despite the win taking Warrington on to more points than St Helens (15), they remain in fourth below their rivals due to the points percentage system in place in Super League this season.
Saints have won seven of nine, while Warrington have won seven and drawn one of 10 in the league.
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Welsby, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Thompson, Mata’utia, Knowles. Subs: Amor, Paasi, Batchelor, Dodd.
Warrington: Ratchford, Lineham, Mamo, King, Charnley, Austin, Widdop, Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Philbin. Subs: Mulhern, Davis, Akauola, Walker.
Try: Currie. Goal: Widdop.
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) June 18, 2021