Super League: St Helens 16-29 Warrington Wolves

St Helens (10) 16

  • Tries: Turner, Swift, Lomax
  • Goals: Lomax 2

Warrington Wolves (22) 29

  • Tries: J Monaghan, Evans, Higham, Waterhouse, Carvell
  • Goals: Ratchford 4
  • Drop-goal: Briers

Warrington held off a St Helens fightback to seal a victory that extends Huddersfield's wait to claim the League Leaders' Shield.

A Wire loss would have been enough to guarantee top spot for the Giants.

Joel Monaghan, Rhys Evans, Micky Higham and Trent Waterhouse put Warrington 22-0 up against their local rivals.

Jordan Turner, Adam Swift and Jonny Lomax all crossed for Saints but the visitors, with the help of a Garreth Carvell try, held on to win.

Giants made to wait

Warrington's win at St Helens means Huddersfield must wait to be confirmed as winners of the League Leaders' Shield.

However, victory over Wakefield on Sunday will ensure the Giants will finish top of the league table for the first time in 81 years.

Huddersfield remain a point clear at the Super League summit and will top the table for the first time in 81 years if they beat Wakefield on Sunday.

St Helens went into the game on a run of five consecutive Super League victories but were blown away by four Warrington tries in the first 25 minutes.

Lee Briers kicked for winger Monaghan to open the scoring with his 28th try of the season, while centre Evans ignored other options to cross himself, and when Saints duo Lomax and Stuart Howarth failed to grasp a Briers grubber, it left Warrington's recently-crowned player of the year Higham with the simplest of tasks to touch down under the posts.

Waterhouse raced onto a kick from Simon Grix to extend the lead, but close-range efforts from Turner and Swift gave Saints hope heading into the interval.

The hosts continued their momentum after the break, with Lomax collecting Willie Manu's offload to cross, but veteran Briers landed a drop-goal to put the Wolves seven points clear and prop Carvell's opportunist late try sealed victory.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

St Helens head coach Nathan Brown:

"I think we got beaten by the best side in the competition.

"[Warrington coach] Tony Smith has been resting his players to give them a final tilt. Physically Warrington were very good and started the game with a lot of intent, with and without the ball.

"We had a 20-minute period when we just didn't go with them, but when we actually started to aim up a bit in defence and win some field position, we executed some plays and got ourselves back in the contest.

"But they've a powerful squad and I still think they're the team to beat."

Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith:

"I'm over the moon. That was as good a win as we've had for a long, long time because we had to overcome a lot of adversity.

"I thought the half-time score flattered Saints because I thought we were outstanding in the first half but Saints came to the party and had a real crack.

"It was a good, tough game and a big one for us tonight.

"Saints are coming good. They've struck some form and consistency and we're hoping to find that consistency ourselves going into the finals."

FRIDAY'S LINE-UPS

St Helens: Lomax; Makinson, Turner, Meli, Swift; Wilkin, Hohaia; Puletua, Howarth, Laffranchi, Jones, Walker, Manu.

Replacements: Wellens, Soliola, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walmsley.

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Riley, Bridge, Evans, J Monaghan; Briers, Grix; Hill, Higham, Wood, Waterhouse, Westwood, Harrison.

Replacements: Morley, M Monaghan, Carvell, Cooper.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury)

Attendance: 14,715