By Sian Reed
Warrington came from behind and put in an impressive performance against St Helens tonight, beating them 40-18. Harvey Livett was instrumental in the Wolves comeback during the second half which saw them outplay a tired-looking Saints side.
SAINTS MAKE A GREAT START
Saints came out with a bang, with Adam Swift scoring in the very first minute following a mix up at the kick-off between Livett and Westwood getting in each other’s way. Following a Makinson penalty, making it 8-0, Warrington had two tries disallowed in the space of a minute. Saints then made 14-0 with a Ryan Morgan try in the 26th minute, giving the visitors a convincing lead. This was about as good as it got for St Helens.
LIVETT SHINES IN COMEBACK
Four minutes later, Warrington started their comeback with Jullien scoring his first try of the season, quickly followed by Cooper’s solo effort after spotting a huge gap in the Saints defence. This was also his first try of the season. After the break, Warrington piled on the pressure. From the kick off, Saints’ Adam Walker knocked it on and a couple of minutes later, Livett made an impressive 55m run after capitalising on a Saints mistake. Converting his own try, that made it 18-14 to the Wolves.
ALL BECAME TOO EASY FOR WIRE
Then Warrington moved onto another level. With Saints error count at 11 already, the Wolves added a Rhys Evans try on 51 minutes, swiftly followed by a Lineham try in the 53rd minutes. Ryan Atkins added another try five minutes later after Evan’s break down the wing. This made it 36-14. St Helens’ Ryan Morgan went off with a large gash on his head, caused by a stray Philbin elbow, no intent there, a simple case of wrong place at the wrong time. After a late try by Peyroux in the 71st, the Saints tried to move the ball around but nothing seemed to pay off.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR SAINTS?
Finally, in the last minute of the game, Atkins crashed over for his 200th career try, taking the final score to 40-18 after Livett missed his final conversion attempt. A convincing performance by the Wolves meaning they’re starting to make their way up the table. Saints, on the other hand, should look at what went wrong towards the end of the first half. They had plenty of opportunities to score but missed most them.
Both teams will have key players back for next week’s Challenge Cup ties but will they make all the difference?
Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith:
“It was probably our best performance in the league. After a costly start, we showed a lot of spirit to work our way back in and control it the way we did.
“We ended up with one of our least mistake-riddled games of the season and that gave us an opportunity to defend well.
“Harvey was very good. He came up with a couple of errors but got stronger as the game went on.”
St Helens interim coach Sean Long:
“I thought we started the game with real intent and our completion was up to about 80 per cent in the first 20 minutes.
“But we let them back in the game and went away from the game plan.
“They wanted it a little bit more than us at times, which is disappointing.”
Warrington Wolves: (12) 40
Tries: Jullien, Cooper, Livett, Evans, Lineham, Atkins 2
Conversions: Livett 6/7
St Helens: (14) 18
Tries: Swift, Morgan, Peyroux
Conversions: Makinson 2/3
Warrington Wolves: Gidley; Russell, Evans, Atkins, Lineham; Patton, Livett; Cooper, Dwyer, Sims, Jullien, Hughes, Westwood.
Replacements: King, Crosby, Philbin, Smith.
St Helens: Makinson; Swift, Spedding, Morgan, Grace; Fages, Smith; Amor, Lee, Douglas, Taia, Wilkin, Thompson.
Replacements: Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walker, Knowles.
Referee: Phil Bentham
Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington
Date/Time: Friday 5th May 2017 – 20:00pm GMT