Kristian Woolf critical of Warrington's game slowing tactics
St Helens coach Kristian Woolf admitted his side were well below par as they went down to their second defeat of the season at the Totally Wicked stadium on Thursday night
England second rower Ben Currie scored the only try in a 6-2 victory in a defence-dominated round 10 fixture as Warrington secured a fourth win in a row over Saints, who missed the chance to go back to the top of the table.
“I thought we were off tonight,” he said. “I didn’t think we started well. The first opportunity with the ball we looked out of sorts for some reason. I think we beat ourselves.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I’ve got to commend our effort in the second half but the basic skills and pressure releases let us down at times.”
Woolf was critical of Warrington’s tactics in slowing down the game at crucial times.
“There were a lot of stoppages, which slowed the game down,” he said. “It’s a real problem we’ve got creeping in.
“It’s not the referee’s fault, their hands are tied, it’s something we need to have a look at, you can call it gamesmanship, it’s obviously a tactical ploy, and it’s happening too many times.”
Warrington coach Steve Price spoke of his pride in his team after they kept Super League champions St Helens try-less.
Price admitted it was one of the best wins of his time in Super League, saying: “That’s the level of consistency we’re chasing.
“I thought we dominated the first half in terms of field position. It flipped around in the second half and we had to defend our tryline, with a number of sets on our line at the back end.
“I’m super proud of the boys, they showed a huge amount of resilience in keep turning them away.
“We showed a lot of guts tonight. They’re a quality team – they’re champions for a reason – and we had to be at our best tonight.
“It was a quality game of footy, a tough game. It’s important we keep growing and building from here.”
Price paid tribute to full-back Stefan Ratchford, who battled on after coming off worst in a tackle on England prop Alex Walmsley just 13 minutes into the game.
“I thought Stef was great tonight,” Price said. “He came up with some really big plays. He was playing busted there, having copped a heavy knock early in the game. It shows what a special player he is.”
Warrington centre Toby King could be a doubt for next week’s England game after finishing the match with a knee injury.
“It looks like a medial,” said Price. “Hopefully it’s not too serious.”
Meanwhile, Price re-iterated his stance that half-back Gareth Widdop will see out the season with the club, despite being linked with a return to the NRL.
“There’s been a bit of speculation about but Gareth Widdop is a contracted player to Warrington Wolves and he won’t be going anywhere this year,” Price said.