Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Warrington ensured they will be in the Super League play-offs for the second season in a row after handing out a rare defeat to second-placed Hull.
Richie Barnett and Chris Bridge crossed to put Warrington 14-2 up at half-time.
Hull's Gareth Raynor scored to cut the gap, but Stuart Reardon's superb last-ditch tackling and Ben Westwood's try kept the Wolves in control.
Motu Tony gave Hull hope, but Lee Briers' interception effort made the game safe for Warrington.
Hull went into the match on the back of a magnificent run of results under coach Peter Sharp, but found Warrington - who had been misfiring in recent weeks - in top form.
Paul Cooke's 10th-minute penalty gave Hull a brief lead, while Tony had a try disallowed for a double movement.
Barnett put Warrington in front on 12 minutes as he climbed above Shaun Briscoe to collect Briers' high kick.
Warrington's Lee Briers Briers pulled the strings for Warrington
Bridge showed surprising strength to burst out of a series of attempted tackles to touch down six minutes before half-time.
Briers added a penalty, and Warrington could have been even further ahead if not for an excellent try-saving tackle on Barnett by Richard Whiting.
After half-time, Raynor launched hopes of a fightback with a 50th-minute try, but a superb break from centre Martin Gleeson gave Westwood the chance to reassert Warrington's superiority.
Hull pulled out the stops and made a series of breaks, only to find Wolves full-back Reardon in inspired form.
The visitors did eventually cross through Tony, but when Briers intercepted Kirk Yeaman's pass and went over, the match was won for Warrington.
The Wolves are now guaranteed to finish at least sixth, and could yet move up to fifth.
# Warrington coach Paul Cullen:
"It was a breathtaking display from Stuart Reardon.
"He was man of the match by a mile. He is an outstanding athlete who returns the ball as good as any full-back in the country."
"Our overall display was a great improvement.
"It has been a tough week to rebuild the confidence on the back of the good hiding we got at Headingley. The players ran their legs to water, it was a great effort."
# Hull coach Peter Sharp on knowing his side had already booked second place:
"I'm sure they were a bit comfortable but Warrington played very well, the best I've seen them play in a long while.
"We had six or seven chances in the second half to score and didn't take any of them.
"That's the story of the game, but hopefully we'll learn some lessons."
Warrington: 26 (14) Tries: Briers, Westwood, Bridge, Barnett Goals: Briers 5
Hull: 14 (2) Tries: Raynor, Tony Goals: Cooke 3
Warrington: Reardon, Fa'afili, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Barnett, Bridge, Briers, Leikvoll, Sullivan, Rauhihi, Swann, Wainwright, Westwood. Replacements: Riley, M. Gleeson, Parker, Wood.
Hull: Tony, Briscoe, Domic, Yeaman, Raynor, Cooke, R. Horne, Dowes, Swain, Carvell, Radford, McMenemy, Washbrook. Replacements: Whiting, G. Horne, Dale, Wheeldon.
Referee: A Klein (London)