Warrington captain Stefan Ratchford believes his side can be a danger in the play-offs and has backed the Wolves to knock out champions St Helens this weekend.
Warrington led Super League at Easter thanks to a flying start under Daryl Powell. Their subsequent mid-season slump saw Powell sacked and the team scrambling just to make the play-offs eventually holding on to sixth place.
Interim boss Gary Chambers has started the rebuild ahead of the arrival of Sam Burgess later this year for his first job as a head coach.
But Ratchford believes those who have already written off this season for Warrington could be in for a surprise, starting this Saturday at Saints.
“We could absolutely be a danger in the play-offs,” Ratchford told Love Rugby League.
“The way we played against Saints the game before last, but for a couple of dubious decisions we end up winning that game.
“Last week we couldn’t keep the ball against them for 20 minutes and gave them two tries. You can’t play against Saints from 12-0 down. But the next hour there was nothing between us and we had Saints scrambling.
“We know we are capable of competing with them, and if we get our performance right we can beat Saints this weekend.”
Rachford’s ‘bizarre’ admission
Ratchford describes Warrington’s season as “bizarre” but believes they remain on course to hit their targets.
He said: “I’ve never known so much to happen in one season before and to miss out on the play-offs would have been absolutely unthinkable. To miss it two years in a row would have been an absolute disaster.
“We had set out at the start of the year to be in the play-offs and ideally further up the table. Play-offs was the goal and we have somehow managed to make it.
“It’s been really difficult for the fans especially given the way last season went too. After eight games we were the best team in the world and the fans absolutely loved us, then we started to hear frustration and then to go on that awful run really peaked the fans’ frustration – they weren’t happy at all.
“It would have been easy after all those losses and losing our coach just to put the cue in the rack and write the year off.
“But we spoke about it and realised we still had a chance and managed to show some resilience and are excited for the playoffs now.”