Ryan Brierley has hailed England captain George Williams as ‘one of the best players in the world’ amongst a trio of Warrington Wolves stars he believes are crucial to turning their fortunes around.
The Salford Red Devils full-back was the guest pundit on BBC’s Super League Show on Monday evening, delivering his verdict on all six games from Round 23.
Saturday saw Warrington win 18-4 away at Hull FC to bring an end to their eight-game losing streak, and speaking after the highlights from that game, Brierley picked out the three standout players from the Warrington team, including Williams.
‘One of the best players in the world’ – Ryan Brierley on George Williams
Scotland international Brierley said: “I think Hull had a lot of adversity in the game, so in terms of Warrington turning a corner, I don’t think they’d quite believe that just yet and I think they’d need a few more performances to do so.
“They’ve got the squad to (do that), they’ve got the individuals there. George Williams, Matty Ashton and Matt Dufty are all coming into a real rich vein of form now. They’ve got three individuals there who are really special.
“You talk about winning trophies and winning Grand Finals, you need players like that who can get you over the line. George Williams, for me, is one of the best players in the world at the moment.
“When you’ve got players like him in your team, anything is possible, but I think they do need to find some sort of consistency and rhythm coming into the big games.”
Warrington Wolves return to winning ways
31-year-old Brierley and his Salford team-mates are firmly in the play-off mix alongside Warrington. The Red Devils sit sixth, above Hull KR in seventh on points percentage.
The Wolves meanwhile are fifth, though all three of those teams sit on the same competition points.
Salford themselves recently went on a seven-game losing streak, so the Preston-born man knows how Warrington will be feeling having brought an end to theirs.
He added: “It’s a huge win. I’ve been in losing streaks like that before, and you just find any way you can to get two points. There’ll be no review of performance from Warrington’s side, I think they’ll just be happy to get over the line.
“When you’re in those losing rhythms, I say that in the nicest way possible, you almost forget how to win.
“You get close to the full-time whistle when you are in front, and you get nerves and anxiety because you’ve not been in that position before for a long time, and you don’t know how to calm down.
“You seem to kind of work too hard. You see a lot of fans moaning about players not trying hard enough, and you’re actually trying too hard because there’s an anxiety and a pressure around your performance.
“Warrington have suffered that, especially at home, it’s a really tough place to play as a Warrington player when you’ve got the crowd on your back because they expect a lot.
“They expect the team to be challenging for trophies, so they’ll certainly be relieved to get that monkey off their back, for sure.”