Warrington reach Super League Grand Final with win at St Helens

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Warrington beat favourites St Helens 18-13 to reach the 2018 Super League Grand Final.

The win sees the Wolves face the winner of Wigan Warriors or Castleford Tigers at Old Trafford on October 13. The other semi-final is played on Friday.

Justin Holbrook made four changes to his St Helens outfit that beat Castleford Tigers last week. Matty Costello, Theo Fages, Kyle Amor and James Bentley made way for Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax, Luke Thompson and Jon Wilkin.

Warrington coach Steve Price also made four changes to his side that won at Wakefield last time out. Tom Lineham, Tyrone Roberts, Kevin Brown and Bodene Thompson replaced Ryan Atkins, Harvey Livett, Morgan Smith and Sitaleki Akauola.

The Wolves and Saints exchanged penalty goals in the opening stages through Roberts and Danny Richardson.

There were a few huge shots flying in at the Totally Wicked Stadium, the pick of the bunch coming Wales international Regan Grace who nailed Toby King.

Tommy Makinson had a great chance to score for Saints in the first half. The England flyer made a fine break and had Richardson in support but opted not to use him and was tackled brilliantly by Ratchford.

England Knights representative Richardson added a drop-goal for Saints late in the first half, just moments after Stefan Ratchford had an unsuccessful attempt. Saints were 3-2 to the good at the break.

Saints got off to a fantastic start in the second period. Ratchford failed to deal with a pinpoint grubber from Richardson and Scotland forward Luke Douglas touched down. Richardson’s boot took the score to 9-2.

Warrington hit back though straight away. England Knights skipper Jack Hughes burst through the Saints defence to go over out wide.

The hosts extended their narrow lead in the 50th minute with another penalty goal from Richardson, St Helens 11-6 Warrington.

Price’s side took the lead on the hour mark as Lineham glided over from five yards out in the corner. Roberts added the extras from the touchline to edge his side in a 12-11 advantage.

Richardson stepped up to the plate again though and he added two drop goals in as many minutes to put his side in a one-point lead.

Lineham bagged his second of the night with six minutes remaining as he made a quick break down the wing to step Ben Barba and put the Wolves back in front. Roberts converted.

It was a nail-biting last five minutes, but Warrington held out for an 18-13 victory and they will be Grand Finalists at the very least in 2018.

St Helens: Barba; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Richardson; Lees, Knowles, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Wilkin. Subs: Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Ashworth.

Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, T King, Charnley; K Brown, Roberts; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Thompson, Hughes, Westwood. Subs: Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, G King.

Starman: St Helens’ Luke Thompson and Warrington’s Chris Hill were both outstanding. The England pair put in huge efforts but the vote has to be with winner Hill.

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