It’s a top of the table clash tonight as first placed Warrington host third placed Hull KR, with the winner set to either extend their league lead or claim the league lead.
That’s a testament to the work that Willie Peters has done at Craven Park this year that should the Robins win by a wide enough margin, and Wigan fail to beat Leeds, then they will top the table and continue their best ever start to Super League.
Whilst all those factors are unlikely they will head into this game believing they can beat anyone and Peters has dismissed the idea of looking at the league table currently.
Two players who have been confirmed that will miss out in their efforts to avenge their round four defeat to the Wolves are Lachlan Coote and Jordan Abdull, meaning the Robins will have a disrupted spine for the second week in a row.
Coote has been confirmed out for a month whilst Abdull will miss five to six weeks and making matters worse, Abdull’s replacement is also injured in the shape of Rowan Milnes who misses out with a broken hand.
This has left the Robins naming hooker Jez Litten in the halves alongside Mikey Lewis with out going winger Ethan Ryan at fullback.
Sam Wood, another player set to leave, named on the bench.
Up for the Wire‼ 💪#UpTheRobins🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/rcNUcWEj72
— Hull KR (@hullkrofficial) May 12, 2023
As for Warrington they named an incredibly strong side with just Gil Dudson missing from what could be considered a full strength side.
Once again Matt Dufty is left on the bench with Josh Thewlis starting at full-back instead.
🏟️ Tonight's line-up at the HJ. Come on the Wire!
W/ @CheshireMould pic.twitter.com/VAsZ6MJ1ii
— Warrington Wolves (@WarringtonRLFC) May 12, 2023
The early exchanges saw what could be expected from a clash between first and third with both sides trading blows and feeling each other out.
The breakthrough came from he visitors though who got the ball on the Warrington 20 and were able to score through Ethan Ryan, courtesy of a brilliant offload from James Batchelor.
Just five minutes later on the 20 minute mark Mikey Lewis then found Kane Linnett who crashed over from short distance to double Rovers lead to 12-0.
Tough defence from Rovers saw Linnett force a knock-on from Kasiano but it was another Wire forward who got revenge and scored their first of the night.
Josh McGuire was first to drop on a grubber kick and with Ratchford’s conversion it meant the sides went in with Rovers leading 12-6.
The home side started the second-half fastest as well and equalled the game up in the 48th minute when Ben Currie sold a dummy to cross over under the sticks.
At that point both teams started to trade penalties with Rovers going ahead 14-12 courtesy of a Mikey Lewis penalty before being pinned back at 14-14.
Lewis then missed his penalty, clipping the post in the 68th minute, before Ratchford added his second penalty of the night in the 70th to make it 16-14.
A further two minutes later Warrington extended their lead with Matty Ashton scoring in the corner, however Ratchford missed the crucial kick leaving the game within one score at 20-14 with less than 10 minutes to go.
KR then opted for a short kick but Warrington collected and from that set George Williams was able to slot a one pointer to put the game beyond the Robins.
That ended Rovers run of six wins on the spin but it was a valiant effort and one that came without key players Jordan Abdull and Lachlan Coote.
As for Warrington, Daryl Powell certainly got the response he requested following their stumbling win over Wakefield the week prior.