Both teams fielded depleted sides as St Helens beat Warrington 30-12 in a dress rehearsal for the Challenge Cup Final in two weeks time.
An early mistake from Saints gave Warrington an opportunity in only the second minute. Saints numbered up completely wrong in defence and Jake Mamo had an easy finish in the corner. Ratchford couldn’t convert.
Dom Peyroux then put a massive shot on ex-Saint Matty Smith to force a knock-on. On the next set Kevin Naiqama took a pass above his head to reply. Richardson converted to put Saints in the lead.
Saints once again got their numbers wrong in defence on Warrington scored a copy of their first try but on the opposite wing as Josh Thewlis scored in the corner.
Jonny Lomax then took the game by the scruff of the neck. He showed Riley Dean a dummy before accelerating and scoring in front of the Saints fans.
Saints gave away a penalty just before half time so Warrington decided to go for two to make it 12-10 at half time.
After the break Regan Grace had the opportunity to extend their lead as he beat a number of players before racing away. He was unable to beat Ratchford as he decided to go on his own instead of passing inside to Danny Richardson. However they were able to force a goal line drop out.
From the drop out, Kyle Amor used footwork to beat Luther Burrell before feeding it to Joseph Paulo on the inside to score his first try in a Saints jersey.
Warrington then bizarrely decided to go for two despite being 8 points down after Jack Ashworth was penalised for a late shot on Lama Tasi.
This decision proved costly as Saints went 12 points ahead through Matty Costello scoring in the corner.
Tommy Makinson then scored a spectacular try, even for his standards with a flying finish in the corner to make the final score 30-12.
Challenge Cup Final
As both teams fielded weakened teams, this game will have no affect on what will happen in two weeks time. Influential players such as Daryl Clark and Mark Percival were rested for the game and it will be two completely different sides who take to the field at Wembley.
Lomax- Man of Steel
Man of Steel will be decided on a points based system from round to round this season for the first time. This system has some flaws in it. The last look at the standings saw Blake Austin and Jackson Hastings at the top before scores are made anonymously. These players have mostly been given three points for getting numerous tries and assists against the likes of London and Hull KR. No disrespect to those teams but the likes of Austin and Hastings have yet to put performances in against the big sides unlike Jonny Lomax who has consistently performed no matter who opposition are. Lomax has been by far and away the best player in Super League this season and once again showed his abilities as he scared Warrington to death, especially in the first half.
Dean, Thewlis and Welsby.
There are big expectations amongst St Helens fans for youngster Jack Welsby after his player of series peformances against the Australian Schoolboys. He put in two lacklustre performances against London but made up for them in a man of the match performance. He was safe under the high ball, made a superb one on one tackle against Ben Murdoch-Masila and got two assists Lachlan Coote would have been proud of. On the Warrington side, Josh Thewlis put in a solid try-scoring performance while Riley Dean showed some promise. He forced Zeb Taia to lose the ball with a big shot to make up for kicking the ball out on the full.
Looking over their shoulder
The distraction of Wembley could have a big effect on Warrington’s Super League season. Their form has been patchy and they have only won two of their last seven games. They need to start winning games if they want to finish second in the league.
Warrington Wolves 12
Tries: Mamo, Thewlis
Goals: Ratchford (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
St Helens 30
Tries: Naiqama, Lomax, Paulo, Costello, Makinson
Goals: Richardson (7)
Drop Goals: n/a
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Mamo, Burrell, Goodwin, Thewlis, Dean, Smith; Walker, Hill, Akauola, Currie, Livett, Westwood
Interchanges: Murdoch-Masila, Tasi, Davis, Johnson
St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Costello, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Smith, Lees, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Interchanges: Paulo, Amor, Ashworth, Bentley