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Jamie Jones-Buchanan predicts where Warrington Wolves will finish this season

Jamie Jones-Buchanan predicts where Warrington Wolves will finish

Sam Burgess has overseen a major improvement at Warrington Wolves this season. The club have managed to put two turbulent seasons under Daryl Powell behind them and are now competing for honours again.

Burgess was a surprise choice to be Wire’s next coach when he was announced near the end of last year, but was he has achieved in a short space of time in Cheshire has been remarkable.

Now less than two weeks out from a Challenge Cup Final showdown at Wembley against Wigan Warriors, you would have forgiven the Wolves for taking their foot off the gas in preparation for that huge occasion.

However, there were no signs of that in Perpignan on Saturday night. Burgess is not the kind of coach or man to let standards drop on the rugby pitch – it’s made Warrington one of the teams to beat.

Having already lost twice to Catalans this season, Wire turned up in the South of France with a point to prove. Despite being on the back foot for most of the first half, they defended heroically. They battled to ensure they stayed in the game, with the score 2-2 at half-time.

In the second half they took control, eventually prevailing 16-8. It was another example of how much Warrington have improved under Burgess, with the result taking them joint top of the table with St Helens.

Warrington Wolves show steel under Sam Burgess

Speaking after the game, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Jones-Buchanan was impressed to no end with Warrington’s display in the South of France. He then went on to predict where the Wolves will finish this season during Burgess’ first year at the helm.

“It’s the best of rubber stamps on the authenticity and validity around their claim that they’re going to be one of the title contenders this year,” said Jones-Buchanan.

“For me, I think they are [going to finish] top two. We haven’t seen them play Wigan yet, so we’ve got a mouth-watering couple of weeks to look forward to.”

Warrington ironically face Wigan in Super League next week in a dress rehearsal for Wembley. Victory in that game would firmly cement their position as title challengers.

Adding more to their victory in Catalans, JJB believes Burgess has the club making good decisions off the pitch as well as on it. He was also in no doubt about the area of their game that helped them gain revenge over the Dragons.

“I think one of the reasons they went over there early was to get away from the distractions so they can focus on each other, to get those little interactions,” added Jones-Buchanan.

“To be able to build and galvanise relationships, which is what we saw in the first half, which hopefully is the reason why Warrington won the game, because of the steel that they showed for each other to turn up in defence.”

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