An injury-hit Saints fell to a disappointing defeat at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, as Warrington came out 19-0 victors in the second round of the Betfred Super League.
Injuries to Alex Walmsley (calf) in the warm up and Mark Percival (collar bone) at the start of the second half didn’t help matters, with Kristian Woolf’s men already having to cope without senior figures Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, James Roby, Morgan Knowles and Kyle Amor.
But to their credit, Warrington capitalised and were the better team on the night, taking home the two points after tries from Daryl Clark, Tom Lineham and Josh Charnley.
After a fast-moving yet sloppy start by both teams, it was the hosts who drew first blood. Stefan Ratchford scored with a penalty in front of the sticks after a high tackle by Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, giving Warrington a 2-0 lead.
The Wire thought they had opened the try-scoring in the 26th minute through Daryl Clark who forced his way over from dummy half, but he was held up on the line. Matty Ashton had a great chance minutes later, breaking through the Saints back line, only to be denied by a fantastic last-man tackle by Jonny Lomax.
Warrington took the lead in the 31st minute after Daryl Clarke forced his way over the line to the right of the posts, however Ratchford missed the conversion, leaving the score at 6-0.
Warrington doubled their advantage in the 35th minute through Tom Lineham, who scored in the left corner after an offload in the build up, before the winger brushed off two challenges to score. Ratchford added the conversion to make it 12-0.
Blake Austin capitalized on another Saints error and scored a drop goal in front of the sticks on the stroke of half time, meaning Warrington went into half time with a 13-0 lead.
Saints started the second half well despite Percival being forced off through injury. Kevin Naiqama almost going over in the right corner but he was forced into touch before he could touch down.
But Warrington added a third through Josh Charnley, who scored in the right corner after the Wolves’ had spread the play and carried over the extra man. Ratchford missed the conversion leaving the hosts with a 17-0 lead.
The Wire extended their lead to 19-0 in the 69th minute as Ratchford scored a penalty with a kick down the middle half way into the Saints’ half again after a Saints error.
Jonny Lomax thought he’d got one back in the last few minutes, but the video referee ruled it out as he deemed our no.6 to have been held up on the line and that summed up a disappointing night as Warrington condemned the Saints to our first defeat since last August.
Warrington 13: Matty Ashton, Josh Charnley, Anthony Gelling, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Blake Austin, Stefan Ratchford, Joe Philbin, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jason Clark.
Interchanges: Sitaleki Akauola, Danny Walker, Luther Burrell, Matt Davis.
Tries: Clark, Lineham, Charnley.
Penalties: Ratchford (2).
Drop goals: Austin.
Saints 13: Jack Welsby, Kevin Naiqama, Matty Costello, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Matty Lees, James Bentley, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dom Peyroux, Louie MaCarthy-Scarsbrook.
Interchanges: Jack Ashworth, Joseph Paulo, Aaron Smith, Joe Batchelor.