St Helens fans travelling to Warrington for tonight’s round 26 game would be keeping one eye on the score updates from the DW Stadium as they hoped that their side could thrash an out of form Wolves side who are in danger of dropping out of the play-offs, while Castleford Tigers sprung some kind of miracle against one of their rivals for the minor premiership.
A win for Saints would send their interest into the final round of the season and while defeat wouldn’t certainly mean that the Wolves would miss out on the last play-off spot, it would mean that it was increasingly unlikely that they would make the top six when the final reckoning was made at the end of round twenty-seven.
Saints were big favourites in the bookies eyes as they start to find their best form at the right end of the season.
After dominating the opening ten minutes, Saints spending the majority of the time in the Wolves half, Curtis Sironen took a Jonny Lomax short pass to go in from five metres out to open the Saints scoring. Mark Percival added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
On nineteen Percival spotted a big gap in the Wolves defence which he hit at speed to give the defence no chance of stopping him as he crossed the line from ten metres out. The Saints centre added the goal to his own try.
A great tackle from Jack Welsby prevented Matty Russell from crossing in the corner as he pushed him into touch by the corner flag, Saints maintaining their 12-0 lead to the interval.
Welsby was again on hand to prevent Matty Ashton from going over off a Stefan Ratchford pass but on the next set Daryl Clark forced his way over the line despite a couple of Saints swinging arms to ground by the upright. Ratchford added the conversion, the home side back within six of the Champions.
Jon Bennison was sin-binned on seventy-six after holding back a Warrington chaser off the ball as he followed a break down the wing.
With ten seconds left on the clock Moses Mbye crashed over under the sticks to clinch the win, somewhat against the run of play in the second half. Percival added the conversion for an 18-6 win.
Warrington were a different side in the second half and took the game to Saints but the defence from the Champions was simply sensational to keep the home side at bay as they only let in a single try. Saints continue their push or the minor premiership but will need other results to go in their favour due to a poor points difference, while Warrington are sliding closer to missing out on the top six, their outcome also out of their hands and into those of the sides around them.
Warrington Wolves: Dufty, Russell, Wrench, Ratchford (G), Ashton, Hayes, Drinkwater, Mikaele, Clark (T), Vaughan, Currie, Nicholson, Crowther. Subs: Harrison, Kasiano, Philbin, Walker. 18th Man: Minkin.
St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Percival (T, 2G), Davies, Bennison (SB on 76), Lomax, Dodd, Lees, Roby, Mata’utia, Sironen (T), Batchelor, Knowles. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Bell, Royle, Mbye (T). 18th Man: Baxter.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12 : HT: 4-12, 6-12, (SB) :FT.
Lead Exchanges: St Helens.
Referee: Jack Smith.