SAINTS had no answer to Warrington’s overall attacking and kicking play as they went down 22-12 at Langtree Park on Monday night.
Lee Briers was in imperious form as he led from the front and marshalled his troops to condemn the home side to their first defeat since the Magic Weekend.
Warrington led 10-0 after just seven minutes as they hit Saints with two early tries.
Brett Hodgson got over on the second minute before Chris Hill profited from a cross-field kick.
But Saints slowly worked themselves back into it and a superb team try finished off by Michael Shenton reduced the deficit.
In the second half, the Wolves scored after poor discipline and then killed Saints off with a simple Chris Riley try.
Paul Wellens added his 18th of the season late on to give the home support something to cheer.
Saints were missing Sia Soliola who was injured in training – and it showed – but welcomed back Mark Flanagan and Tony Puletua.
Warrington were at near full strength as Tony Smith brought back four players who were left out of the win over Bradford.
Saints kicked off but after a strong set were forced on their heels and Warrington gained a drop out.
From that set the ball was fed left and Brett Hodgson just about squeezed over under pressure.
After seven minutes a cross-field kick by Lee briers to Joel Monaghan saw the ball come loose and Chris Hill mopping up.
Hodgson converting with ease to make it 10-0.
And it could have been worse as Joel Monaghan looked to have scored on 17 minutes when he caught a cross-field kick – but the video ref, who adjudicated on both of Warrington’s tries – ruled it out as Meli had caught the ball in goal.
Saints then hit back. From a penalty they worked a fine move heading right involving Chris Flannery, James Roby and Lance Hohaia for Michael Shenton to get in.
Makinson tagging on the extras.
Both sides struggled to make any headway after the ferocious opening but Saints were a lot firmer in defence following the Wolves’ two try salvo.
Saints needed to stop the Wolves’ offload game in the second half but a poor penalty saw Trent Waterhouse get on the overlap and plunge over.
The home side could have hit back on 51 minutes but the ball went to ground from a similar man-advantage and it took a super tackle from Lance Hohaia to stop Ritchie Myler scooting 80 yards.
It was a big play from the little half back and a few minutes later Saints did have a set right on Warrington’s line – but their execution was poor.
And, as so often happens, the opposition made it pay.
A penalty, massive yardage and simple, slick passing saw Chris Riley score – with Hodgson adding on the extras from the touchline.
Wellens added a late try as Saints threatened a mini comeback but in the end they were left to rue a number of missed opportunities.
Tries: Shenton, Wellens
Goals: Makinson (2 from 2)
Tries: Hodgson, Hill, Waterhouse, Riley
Goals: Hodgson (3 from 4)
REF: Richard Silverwood
1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 11. Tony Puletua, 13. Chris Flannery, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andy Dixon.
1. Brett Hodgson; 2. Chris Riley, 19. Stefan Ratchford, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan; 6. Lee Briers, 7. Richie Myler; 8. Adrian Morley, 14. Micky Higham, 20. Chris Hill, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 21. Tyrone McCarthy.
Subs: 9. Michael Monaghan, 15. Simon Grix, 16. Paul Wood, 17. Mike Cooper.