AFTER a brief convalescence against the two teams in the drop zone, Saints skipper Paul Wellens believes Sunday’s testing Magic clash against Warrington has come at the right time.
Saints thumped Bradford 50-0 on Sunday – a win that will give them confidence heading to a Etihad Stadium that has been something of a graveyard in the past two seasons.
But boosted by the return of centre Jordan Turner, Saints will be looking to reverse last season’s mauling at the hands of the Wolves – and really need the tonic of a win on the big arena to try and rebuild some the early season feelgood factor.
Wellens said: “In our preparation we will treat this like any other game but it is a showpiece weekend and all the eyes of the rugby league world are on the Etihad for one weekend. You want to perform well and put down a marker.
“Warrington is a game we really need at this point.
“They showed last week against Catalan that they are a team that is coming back into form.
“It is going to be a real tough test for us but it has come at the right time.”
Wolves are going through a transitional phase having lost big characters like Lee Briers, Adrian Morley and Brett Hodgson – and then starting the season with a cluster of injuries.
But the depth of their squad means that they still boast a strong team – one that will test Saints’ recovery and highlight where they need to be for the big games to come.
Empathising with their plight, having been through it at Saints, Wellens felt that it was a mistake to write the Wolves off too soon.
“Warrington have had a fair bit of a change in personnel so it was always going to take a bit of time to find the combinations. They showed the other night that they are doing that “I think you will see the best of Warrington from now, moving towards the end of the season. With the quality they have they are always going to be there or thereabouts.
“I can see similarities with what they are going through and what we had to deal with. When you lose big personalities and a lot of experience it takes time to get used to it, but you are now seeing people like Stefan Ratchford stepping up and putting their hand up for the team."