Warrington got the better of neighbours and reigning Super League champions St Helens – just as they did in last season’s Challenge Cup final.
A 19-0 victory on Thursday saw hosts Warrington put an opening defeat to Wigan behind them, while Saints failed to make it two wins from two at the start of their title defence following their thumping of Salford last Friday.
Tries from Daryl Clark, Tom Lineham and Josh Charnley did the damage, as Saints unusually failed to get on the scoresheet.
Warrington won 18-4 when these sides met at Wembley last August, and their hopes were bolstered this time when Saints lost Alex Walmsley to injury in the warm-up.
The first try of the night arrived after half an hour when Clark bounded over, resisting the attentions of Jack Ashworth to ground the ball.
Winger Lineham was next to break through St Helens’ defence, collecting and crossing in the right corner. Stefan Ratchford booted the touchline conversion before Blake Austin’s drop goal gave the hosts a 13-0 interval cushion.
Lineham’s defensive skills were on show as he prevented Kevin Naiqama raiding for a St Helens try early in the second half, with Ratchford also later denying the Fijian.
Charnley made St Helens count the cost of those misses when he put the finishing touches to Matty Ashton’s pass and Ratchford added a penalty.
Saints thought they had a consolation try late on, but Jonny Lomax was ruled by the television official not to have grounded the ball after he barged through the home defence.
Running down the wing, makes the Wire sing
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) February 6, 2020