I would usually say ‘beware the wounded Wolves’ going into this weekend’s game, but on the back of last week’s performances… how much is there to fear?
It’s been a pretty miserable season so far for Warrington, with Daryl Powell’s team languishing all the way down in 8th in the Betfred Super League table.
I put the curse on Saints ahead of our trip to Toulouse earlier in the season, but after seeing Warrington’s 40-8 drubbing by Catalans Dragons in the South of France it’s hard to look past the obvious outcome of this game.
Wire boss Daryl Powell – a good friend of mine and someone I respect hugely – was very critical of some of the officiating in the game, but I don’t think even Daryl will deny it was far more than a few decisions that cost his side the points. With only one score the difference at the 65-minute mark, it was a complete capitulation from a team tipped to challenge for silverware.
Wolves, under the new regime of Powell & co, were probably the most-fancied team to stop Saints from winning title number four, but with just five wins from 12 games, this has been far from the case. For me, it’s simple – the players are not good enough.
I know Daryl and his attitude to the game, and it seems the players are not buying into his culture, or are simply not capable of doing as he asks. Either way, these performances are unacceptable at a club like Warrington.
On current form, I don’t think the Wire pack can live with the Saints six, so I’m going for a visitors win by 18pts.
Anyway, enough about the opposition anyway, for it’s all about what Saints do. If they turn up with the mentality and ability showed against Hull FC on Friday, all will be good.
It was a huge show of character to bounce back from such a tough defeat to Wigan the week before in the Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final.
Boss man Kristian Woolf praised his team’s second-half performance, especially their superior fitness and intensity to maintain their standards for the full 80 minutes – something I have spoken about all year.
Woolfy was also delighted with his team’s ‘as close to its best’ defence, with just a couple of tries scored down our left edge.
Some of the players impressing me at the moment, led by Mr Perpetual Motion himself James Roby who just continues to perform at the highest standard week in week out, are Mark Percival, and Jack Welsby – while another guy who has been immense is Agnatius Paasi.
Special mention for Jonny Lomax too, who has defied medical science to play through a completely ruptured bicep and still control things out on the park, coming up with big moments and tries to boot.
Finally, it was great to hear that the new fan-favourite Konrad Hurrell has expressed his desire to stay at the Totally Wicked Stadium amid reports of a move back to the NRL.
Hurrell, outstanding in the win over Hull FC, has been a revelation since his move from the Leeds Rhinos last season. He is clearly enjoying himself and has thrived at the club – and now that initial one-year deal is certain to be extended!