Super League: Warrington Wolves crush St Helens
Chris Riley scored two of Warrington's eight tries as the Wolves beat St Helens 48-22 at the Etihad Stadium.
Last Updated: 25/05/13 9:21pm
Second rower Trent Waterhouse also crossed twice and kicked eight goals from as many attempts as the Wolves bounced back from their surprise home defeat by Hull to secure their fifth win out of seven at the annual two-day Super League extravaganza.
Saints made the worst possible start when Jon Wilkin's grubber kick was seized on by Simon Grix and, inside the first set of tackles, Richie Myler and Ryan Atkins combined to get Riley over for his first try.
They looked to be still in shock when Atkins leapt in the air to collect Stefan Ratchford's lofted kick to score a second try and, with Ratchford adding both conversions, the Wolves led 12-0 after five minutes.
Superb offloads by ball-handling Pacific Islanders Willie Manu and Tony Puletua created the space for centre Jordan Turner to get winger Ade Gardner over for Saints' opening try on 16 minutes.
Tom Makinson kicked the touchline conversion and there were only two points between the sides when stand-off Nathan Ashe sent Turner over for a second try after Atkins had lost the ball on his own 20-metre line.
The game was finely balanced at that stage but the Wolves took a firm grip with three more tries in the last 13 minutes of the first half.
Riley took two defenders over the line with him after taking Ratchford's pass for his second, veteran Lee Briers dummied his way past Wilkin and Waterhouse finished off a 50-metre flowing move for his side's fifth try of the first half.
Ratchford's fumble on his own 10-metre line early in the second half gave Saints a perfect attacking platform and they made the most of it when Turner gathered Wilkin's kick to claim his second try.
Warrington's grip loosened even more midway through the second half when Gardner fended off Myler to race down the wing and second rower Josh Jones got the supporting Lance Hohaia over for a fourth Saints try.
Makinson kicked his third goal to cut the gap to just eight points but the Wolves simply stepped up a gear in the final quarter to run in three more tries.
Waterhouse took Myler's pass to stretch out for the line to register his second, Grix had a simple run-in after Turner had shot out of the defensive line to attempt an interception and returning skiper Adrian Morley supported a break by Mickey Higham to score the most popular try of the day.