Warrington Wolves beat St. Helens 18-13 to reach the Super League Grand Final at the Totally Wicked Stadium last night.
Tom Lineham’s two second-half tries against the Saints led Warrington to their second Super League Grand Final in three years.
Warrington started the match strongly, applying high pressure on the Saints, which deservedly led to Wolves taking the lead with a Tyrone Roberts’ penalty after 10 minutes.
The first of Dan Richardson’s three drop-goals put Saints 3-2 up at the end of the first half.
Luke Douglas grabbed the opening try for Saints early in the second half, which would turn out to be the polar opposite of how the first half went down.
Jack Hughes responded, with Lineham’s brace setting up an Old Trafford date with Wigan or Castleford on 13 October.
Saints got off to a perfect start in the second half when Richardson’s perfect long kick off earned a drop out.
Although Saints had seven players named in the Super League’s Dream Team, they could only manage a Richardson penalty before Lineham put Wolves in front with a diving finish in the corner.
Another two Richardson drop-goals, after he unexpectedly put a penalty wide, put Saints 13-12 up with nine minutes remaining, only for Lineham to secure a decisive try two minutes later.
Saints coach Justin Holbrook told BBC Sport: “As the scoreline shows, there wasn’t much in it but we made some poor decisions defensively and Warrington took their chances.
“This defeat brought the end for a brilliant season for the Saints in which they won 26 out of 30 games, but were knocked out in the semi-finals of the League and Challenge Cups.
Warrington head coach Steve Price added: “I’m super proud. We spoke all week about needing all 17 players to contribute their best game of the season and they certainly did that.
“To keep St Helens to one try on their own pitch was a super effort, the way we kept turning them away from our line was superb.”
Speaking to the Warrington Guardian, match hero Tom Lineham hailed Wolves performance in the match.
“When the Saints drop goal went over off the crossbar I looked up to the skies and thought this isn’t our day,” said Lineham, referring to when Saints went 13-12 in front going into the final 10 minutes.
“To get the result at the Totally Wicked Stadium against Saints, who have been without doubt the best team this year it’s just a great, great feeling.
“On paper it was an absolute mismatch but we showed the heart and desire, the mental toughness to stay in the game and grind it out.
“A couple of decisions didn’t go our way but we stuck at it.
“Discipline was questionable at times but we stuck at it. We were clinical, three tries to one, defence was brilliant.
“Everyone just worked really hard, stayed in every play, stayed in every moment, to get the win and it’s brilliant for everybody involved in the club.”
Warrington forward Mike Cooper took to Twitter following the win;
What a night last night was! Fans unbelievable as usual carrying us home! See you again at old Trafford! 👏👏
— Mike Cooper (@MikeCooper_18) October 5, 2018
The Warrington Wolves will find out who they will be playing in the Grand Final at Old Trafford when Wigan play Castleford in Friday’s clash.
The Super League Grand Final will take place on October 13th at Old Trafford.