Warrington beat St Helens in Super League

By Ian Laybourn, PA

Warrington turned on the style to snuff out reigning champions St Helens with a 19-0 victory in the second round of the Betfred Super League.

The Wolves, who showed much promise in their opening defeat at Wigan, shrugged off the absence of suspended skipper Chris Hill to inflict a first defeat on new Saints coach Kristian Woolf.

It was also the first time St Helens have been nilled since they lost 25-0 to Wigan at the DW Stadium in August 2016.

So impressive in their opening win over Salford, the patched-up champions were virtually unrecognisable as they produced an uncharacteristic, error-strewn performance that will do little to worry NRL champions Sydney Roosters a fortnight out from the World Club Challenge.

Already without five members of their grand final-winning team, they lost England prop Alex Walmsley in the warm-up and centre Mark Percival 90 seconds into the second half at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Fullback Lachlan Coote was particularly sorely missed, with 18-year-old Jack Welsby struggling to match his high standards, in stark comparison to Warrington's rookie fullback, Matty Ashton, who caught the eye with a superb home debut.

Warrington coach Steve Price was delighted to keep St Helens scoreless.

"The most pleasing thing is to keep a quality team to zero points, I thought the energy we displayed across the line and the amount of effort was first class," he said.

"We played some rugby too. We played fairly direct with a bit of ball movement.

"Having said that, it's round two so early days and we're not getting carried away with ourselves.

"There is still a lot of hard work to do. We want to be a consistent team this year, that's our challenge."

Warrington will still be without co-captains Hill and Jack Hughes for their next match at Wakefield but new signing Gareth Widdop is close to making his debut as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

"I'm pretty confident Gareth Widdop will come into consideration next week," Price said. "It's a good headache to have."