WARRINGTON’S pre-match social media talk had contributed to building the top of the table clash into an event – and the 17,078 crowd provided the perfect backdrop for what unfolded.

But on the field it was the Saints players who walked the walk; dominant in every facet of play in a collective team effort that certainly put a marker down for their noisy neighbours to go away and digest.

There is no doubt Steve Price will – and this series is not over yet, but it was re-assuring to see Saints draw first blood.

It was a performance that had plenty individual stars; the craft of Lachlan Coote, who was serenaded all night by a West stand armed with a new songbook, the guile and determination of Jonny Lomax at half and up front the titanic twin towers of Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley punched forward with devastating effect all night.

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But it was very much a collective effort, rather than a series of brilliant individual cameos, that saw Saints reduce the erstwhile league leaders into a pretty bedraggled looking outfit by the final hooter.

Saints snuffed out the threats posed by the much-trumpeted man of the moment Blake Austin, although the Wire six did scramble over for a crawpy try to respond to Saints’ opening penalty.

Defensively Saints’ line speed was sharp and they were up and in the faces of the Wolves, limiting their yardage and harassing and harrying them into errors.

With the ball, the direct running of the Saints packman – backrowers as well as props – gave Roby plenty of go-forward to do his stuff and call the shots, for the backline to exploit.

Coote sparked the move for Zeb Taia to punch through on the left for Mark Percival to weave over to level.

After a Coote penalty had given the men in the red vee a lead they would never relinquish, Saints were given a golden opportunity to take a cast iron grip on the game around the half hour mark.

Wolves prop Mike Cooper caught scrum half Danny Richardson with a clothes-liner and was dispatched for 10 minutes; long enough for Saints to completely take charge.

There was a patient urgency about the way Saints went about their business from tapping the penalty, not feeling the need to score with their first set but turning over just short and then backing it up with a strong defence effort to be back knocking on the door.

This time it opened, nay hammered it down, with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s energetic burst with his second touch of the ball delivering and boy did he celebrate, hoofing the ball into the orbit.

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LMS has definitely turned his fortunes around at Saints this past three years - the impact he brings off the bench is invaluable and that is recognised on the terraces.

The Londoner was inches short moments later, but that set the platform for the still vastly under-rated Lomax to dummy and drive to the line.

Saints were in the driving seat at 20-6 at the break, and although Daryl Clark threatened to make it interesting, they were not letting this one slip.

Defensively they kept their line intact for the remainder of the game, and with the ball they came up with some pearlers, with prop Matty Lees motoring down field to chase Coote’s kick and being rewarded with the try that effectively finished it.

But two large dollops were added to the cake when Regan Grace produced a crowd-pleasing 70-metre special and got a late smack in the face from Tom Lineham for his troubles - and a rare eight-point try.

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And not to be out-done on the right, Kevin Naiqama interjected himself on the game and fashioned a Tommy Makinson special in the corner to wrap up the scoring.

Read Holbrook's reaction>

First blood to Saints and back on top after ten rounds – but we all know this is probably only the first meeting of maybe five or six this year.

Bigger battles are to come, but Saints can approach those with confidence.

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Saints: Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Richardson; Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Knowles; Subs: Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Lees.

Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, King, Atkins, Charnley; Austin, Patton; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Philbin. Subs: J Clark, Tasi, Murdoch-Masilla, Davies.