Magic Weekend: Warrington see off St Helens in Manchester
Warrington Wolves looked back to their best in the Magic Weekend finale on Sunday with a 41-24 success over St Helens.
Last Updated: 18/05/14 7:50pm
Tony Smith's Wolves were quick out of the blocks scoring four tries inside the opening 25 minutes to put Saints firmly on the back foot. Gene Ormsby, Rhys Evans (2) and Chris Hill all touched down for last year's Grand Finalists.
Alex Walmsley did pull one back for Saints, but further scores from Ryan Atkins, Joel Monaghan and Matty Russell reasserted Warrington's dominance. St Helens did threaten a comeback before Stefan Ratchford's drop-goal settled their nerves.
It was Warrington's sixth win in eight Magic Weekend fixtures and will give breathe new life into their flagging campaign.
Right winger Ormsby opened the scoring after six minutes and, after Jonny Lomax had re-started play by kicking out on the full, the Wolves maintained the pressure and Evans doubled the lead, profiting from a superb offload by second rower Trent Waterhouse.
Saints could not get out of their own half in the first quarter and they fell further behind when England prop Hill charged over for a third try and Chris Bridge succeeded with his first conversion attempt to make it 14-0.
If Saints felt they were not getting the rub of the green, there was further evidence of it when Evans grabbed his second try four minutes later after Ratchford's grubber kick rebounded off a defender into his arms.
The momentum began to turn in the last 10 minutes of the first half, when breaks by Jon Wilkin and Jordan Turner would have produced scores with steadier finishing.
Another clean break, this time by scrum-half Luke Walsh, led to Warrington being reduced to 12 men, with Ormsby sin-binned for holding down Lomax in the tackle to prevent a quick-play-the-ball five metres out from the line.
Twelve-man Warrington initially held firm and Saints winger Matty Dawson had a try disallowed for a forward pass but the pressure finally told three minutes before the break when prop Walmsley took Walsh's short pass to go through a gap in the defence to touch down.
Walsh's goal cut the gap to 12 points at the break but their chance to fully get back in the contest disappeared when stand-off Lance Hohaia broke clear early in the second half but made a hash of the final pass.
Warrington immediately took advantage of the let-off as centre Atkins got Evans racing down the touchline before taking a return pass to touch down for his side's fifth try.
Three minutes later, the clever Ratchford carved out a try for Joel Monaghan and then got full-back Russell racing 70 metres for another.
Bridge took his goal tally to four from seven attempts to stretch his side's lead to 36-6 and a third successive blow-out looked on the cards after hefty wins for Castleford and Huddersfield earlier in the day.
However, Walsh had other ideas and the introduction of skipper Paul Wellens also had a galvanising effect on St Helens.
Turner sparked the fightback on 52 minutes, forcing his way over from out wide, and Wellens was twice involved as Saints attacked Warrington's right side to produce scores for Hohaia and Dawson.
Walsh kicked superbly to convert all three tries to make it 36-24 but Ratchford put three scores between the teams with a drop goal on 68 minutes and Joel Monaghan made sure of the win when he intercepted Wilkin's pass and went 70 metres for his second try.