The Super League semi-finals have been confirmed with St Helens defeating Warrington Wolves sending Hull KR to Wigan Warriors and setting up a semi-final against Catalans Dragons on Friday night.
But there is a huge concern for the Champions. They lost star backrower Joe Batchelor to a hamstring early in the game with him limping off the pitch.
This was after he started the game with tape around his hamstring.
There will now be an anxious wait for scans on the second row ahead of next week’s semi-final.
With a semi-final awaiting against Wigan Warriors or Catalans Dragons for St Helens and Warrington Wolves met in a massive game.
A big game always, they are two major rivals hoping to sustain their title hopes. Saints went into the game having been champions for 1449 days whilst Warrington have never held the Super League title.
It was also 1,821 days since Saints lost a play off game which came against Warrington in 2018 – 18-13.
It was also a final home game for St Helens legends James Roby and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
The Saints showed some early brilliance when a lovely move sent Tommy Makinson down field.
He kicked ahead and Matty Ashton cleared up in a play that cost the Saints Joe Batchelor.
The Saints squandered the next possession but again blew holes into the Warrington defence with Morgan Knowles powering through before a short James Bell pass looked set to put Mark Percival through a gap to score but he lost the ball.
We saw another excellent break from Saints when Jack Welsby wrong footed Jordy Crowther and broke down field but great cover defence from James Harrison and Matt Dufty denied him.
But eventually Saints opened the deadlock with a short ball to Curtis Sironen and he found Lewis Dodd in support to score under the sticks.
The Wolves weren’t being out played but were undercutting some of their great kicks by penalties and errors.
They did have a few openings in the first half including a break by George Williams tackled by James Roby.
But eventually Saints extended their lead to 8-0 after a Josh Drinkwater tip tackle on Jack Welsby.
The Wolves did get themselves back into the game in the second half after a sweeping move set Connor Wrench free and he dummied up against Jack Welsby.
It was nearly the wrong decision as he slipped but in the end he got over the line.
Then the crucial moment as Alex Walmsley was sin binned for contact with the head of Jordy Crowther.
Whilst he was off a number of errors and penalties led to a penalty from Stefan Ratchford levelling matters.
But as Walmsley came back onto the pitch the Saints found a way to take the lead again with Jack Welsby smuggling the ball away to Mark Percival who fed Tommy Makinson who crucially cut the angle down to allow Percival to make it 14-8.
Then it was Warrington’s turn to be reduced to 12 men when they had Joe Bullock sin binned for contact to the head.
Then Matty Russell was penalised for a high tackle and Percival converted that into a 16-8 lead.