A last ditch Mark Percival effort prevented Rhys Evans snatching a victory away from Saints in the opening game of the super-eights.
Evans looked to have scored in the corner with just a minute remaining however Phil Bentham sent the decision up to the video referee Joe Cobb who overruled Bentham’s decision.
Saints made it six victories on the bounce and it is their second victory over Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium this season. As well as making the try-saving tackle in the closing stages Percival’s 58th minute penalty goal proved to be the difference between the sides.
In-form Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook opened the scoring before Jonny Lomax finished off a fantastic try in the late stages of the first half. Jordan Turner’s try with around ten minutes of the game remaining turned out to be enough to give Kieran Cunningham’s side the victory.
Ryan Atkins did follow up Turner’s late try to close the gap back down to two points however Warrington couldn’t find the late try to come away with the win. Daryl Clark and Jack Hughes had scored either side of half time.
In the early stages it looked as though Warrington would carry the momentum from their hammering of Wakefield last weekend immediately into this game when Chris Hill barged over on the back of a goal-line dropout however it was ruled out for double movement.
Both defences were holding strong until the midway point of the first half when McCarthy-Scarsbrook managed to hit Turner’s short ball at pace and spin over the line. In similar fashion to Hill’s disallowed effort the try came on the back of a goal-line dropout. Percival converted.
Warrington didn’t trail for long however as Clark managed to score a short-range try of his own. The England hooker threw a dummy before getting between Saints duo Kyle Amor and Jon Wilkin who were both slow to react on their own try line. Gidley converted.
Saints have hit form in recent weeks and they put this on display when Lomax finished off a brilliant breakaway try. Amor drew in two Wolves defenders before offloading, the ball went through hands to Percival who then dragged in Rhys Evans which allowed Adam Swift to get around the outside of the Warrington winger. Swift used his pace to break down the flank before finding Lomax in support on the inside who finished well. Percival added the extras.
The visitors came close to scoring another just before the interval however Dominique Peyroux’s basketball-esque throw to Jack Owens went forward. It was eighteen minutes into the second half before any more points were scored as Percival sunk a penalty goal.
However Warrington immediately began chipping away at the eight-point deficit as Gidley put Hughes straight through a gap in the Saints defence and young Englishman managed to shake off Turner’s challenge to score. Gidley added to his try assist with another conversion.
As the game drew to a close the action was end-to-end and Saints hit first. Half-back Turner threw a dummy before committing himself and powering through the Warrington defence despite the best efforts of three wire defenders.
But Tony Smith’s side didn’t give in and were again within two points of Saints when Atkins scored. Atkins stepped through the Saints line before racing thirty metres to score under the posts. Gidley again converted to close the gap further.
In the final minute of the game Warrington managed to create an opening with Evans diving over in the corner and referee Bentham sent the decision up to the video referee Cobb but did give a try on the field. The replays showed that Evans’ foot had gone in touch thanks to Percival’s defensive effort out wide and the on-field decision was overruled.
Saints will be looking to make it seven consecutive wins next weekend as they host Catalans Dragons whilst Warrington travel to Wakefield.
Warrington: Ratchford, Russell, T. King, Atkins, Evans; Gidley, Sandow; Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Hughes, Westerman.
Interchanges: Dwyer, Westwood, Wilde, G. King.
Saints: Lomax, Owens, Peyroux, Percival, Swift; Turner, Walsh; Richards, Roby, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Greenwood, Wilkin.
Interchanges: Amor, Vea, Thompson, Knowles.
Referee: P. Bentham.