2020 Season Review: Warrington Wolves

Warrington Wolves were hoping to build on what was a successful season in 2019, where they lifted the Challenge Cup.

They added a mixture of home and overseas talent, with Keanan Brand and Anthony Gelling joining from Widnes Vikings, with Leilani Latu and Gareth Widdop signing from the NRL. Matty Ashton signed from Swinton Lions, and Samy Kibula joined from Wigan Warriors.

Hit and miss Start

Warrington would open the 2020 Super League season along with Wigan Warriors. The game changed on a red card to Chris Hill, and they would end up losing the game 16-10.

A week later however, they bounced back perfectly with a 19-0 victory over rivals St Helens. Tries from Daryl Clark, Josh Charnley and Tom Lineham earned them victory.

However, their hit and miss start to the season continued with back-to-back away defeats against Wakefield Trinity and Leeds Rhinos.

In the middle of those games, Warrington beat Toronto Wolfpack, but that result was wiped when Toronto pulled out of the competition.

They would bounce back on their return to the Halliwell Jones Stadium against Castleford Tigers. Lineham scored the only try, with Blake Austin scoring the game-winning drop goal to secure a 9-8 victory. 

Warrington’s final game before lockdown saw them break their long winless run at Hull FC. Two tries each from Austin and Widdop, and other efforts from Gelling, Lineham and Ben Murdoch-Masila earned a 36-4 win, which earned them a first away win since 2019.

Form after the restart

 Their first game in five months came at Headingley as they faced Hull KR. Two tries from Lineham, and other efforts from Sitaleki Akauola, Stefan Ratchford, Gelling, Charnley and Widdop earned a 40-10 victory.

Wire then overcame a tough test against Huddersfield Giants. Tries from Ben Currie, Lineham and Widdop earned a narrow 19-18 win. This was despite having Austin and Murdoch-Masila in the sin bin for separate incidents.

A week later, they returned to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the first time since March, as they faced Wakefield Trinity. A hat-trick from Austin, and others from Toby King, Charnley and Currie completed a resounding 36-0 victory.

Despite having several players ruled out because of track and trace, their game against Hull FC went ahead. 

They won the match 37-12 thanks to two tries from Jake Mamo, and others from Mike Cooper, Ashton, Austin and Latu. It was a win that saw them go up to second place.

Warrington took on Castleford a week later, and they left it late to beat them in St Helens. An Ashton try with just two minutes to go turned a 10-6 deficit into a 12-10 victory.

A week later, they took on Saints again in the Challenge Cup. Two tries from Charnley, and others from Ashton and Gelling was enough to hold off a second half fightback.

The Wolves went to the top of the Super League a week later with an impressive win over playoff rivals Catalans Dragons. Tries from Danny Walker, Matt Davis, Ashton, Austin and Gelling saw them to a 30-16 win.

Challenge Cup gamble

With their Challenge Cup semi-final against Salford Red Devils in mind, they put a weakened team out for their Super League clash with the Red Devils. Wire held out well, but a late penalty saw them lose their first game since the restart.

That gamble from Steve Price did not pay off, as they lost the Challenge Cup semi-final against Salford. A week later, they fell to defeat at Wigan, which saw them slip to second in the table.

However, they bounced back a week later against a much-changed Leeds Rhinos side preparing for the Challenge Cup Final. Two tries from Ashton, and others from Clark, Currie and King earned a 32-6 win.

With Salford unable to field a team, Wire were awarded a 24-0 win. They also faced Huddersfield as a result of their game being cancelled too.

In what was a similarly close game to the last one, two tries from Clark and another from Gelling earned the win.

Premature End

With rising COVID cases across the league, the decision was taken to end the season early and go into an extended playoff series.

They faced Hull FC at home, but fell to a 27-14 defeat.

There is a reason for Wire fans to get excited in 2021, as they confirmed the signing of Greg Inglis, who came out of retirement. They have also brought in Rob Butler from London Broncos. However, they also lost Murdoch-Masila to the NRL.

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