|Warrington (14) 14|
|Tries: Currie, Williams Goals: Ratchford 3|
|St Helens (10) 24|
|Tries: Naiqama, Dodd, Percival, Bentley Goals: Coote 4|
Warrington let slip a half-time lead as St Helens came from behind to avenge their 6-2 home defeat by Wire in June.
After home tries by Ben Currie and George Williams were cancelled out by Saints scores from Kevin Naiqama and Lewis Dodd, Stefan Ratchford’s boot edged Wire into a 14-10 lead.
But Mark Percival and James Bentley added two more Saints tries.
Lachlan Coote converted both before adding a late penalty to complete an individual eight-point haul.
Saints centre Percival’s early second-half score, running fully 70 metres to score, was key, but Saints’ fourth try was highly fortunate.
Jack Welsby’s kick through took a ludicrous bounce over the covering Ratchford’s head, allowing the unmarked Bentley to scoop up and cross the line.
The game ended with only 23 men on the park after Tom Lineham’s stiff-arm head-high challenge was followed by a mass brawl almost on the final whistle. Yellow cards also followed for Warrington’s Gareth Widdop and Saints forward Bentley, his third in as many appearances.
Second-placed Saints now go into this Saturday’s top-of-the-table Magic Weekend clash with league leaders Catalans Dragons, six points behind the French side.
Warrington’s third defeat in six matches all but ends their hopes of a top-two finish. They now face a fight to hang on to third from Wigan, who they meet in Newcastle on Sunday.
Warrington coach Steve Price:
“We showed a lot of guts to stay in the fight. It was a tough game and I’m proud of the boys’ efforts. They started really well in both halves and we did really well to get back in the game.
“But the penalties we conceded at the start of the second half were disappointing and we will look at some things we could have done better.
“That sort of high intensity game was what we needed as we haven’t had one like that for a long time and it should put us in good shape going forward. But, for us to do something special in this competition, we need to be better – it’s as simple as that.”
St Helens coach Kristian Woolf:
“Joe Batchelor did well to get the ball back and it was great support play and instinct from Mark Percival to put himself there to get the ball.
“We always try and teach kids about changing hands when you see defenders coming and Perc was able to do that twice against two different defenders.
“It’s a really good example of his class and an example for young players as well.”
Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Mamo, King, Thewlis; Williams, Widdop, Hill, D Clark, Philbin, Currie, Hughes, J Clark.
Interchanges: Longstaff, Walker, Mulhern, Akauola.
Sin-bin: Lineham (74), Widdop (80).
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Welsby, Dodd, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Mata’utia, Bentley, Knowles.
Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Pa’asi, Batchelor, Wingfield.
Sin-bin: Bentley (80).
Referee: Liam Moore.