SO out go Saints.

It is now a painful twelve years since Daniel Anderson's men nonchalantly ran around Wembley with rugby league's oldest pot for the third time on the bounce.

Back then it was a trophy the men in the red vee had won more times than the rest of Super League put together since the switch to summer rugby, but alas for the last dozen years they have come a cropper.

And once again it was a Warrington side, that seem to have their number in knockout rugby, who ended their 2020 pursuit for the 13-man code's holy grail.

Ultimately there were key pointers, game changing moments - be they Saints errors, Wire brilliance, harsh calls and pure bad luck.

But deep down there appears to be a problem with Saints and every time they face the Primrose and Blue mob from the banks of the Mersey in a big game.

Warrington, it seems, know how to disrupt Saints' attacking game more than any other team.

And their pack, particularly the big lumps Joe Philbin and Ben Murdoch Masila off the bench, seem to offer a physical menace that constantly proves hard to contain.

Saints had started brightly enough and two Mark Percival offloads, in the same movement led to the opening try from Jonny Lomax.

But Saints were derailed by a Blake Austin 40/20, being forced to spend a series of repeat sets defending their own line, something that may have contributed to the fatigue that saw the game turned on its head by half time.

The cause was further impaired by the loss of Percival, with a recurrence of his hamstring woes - and who knows if the England centre would have stopped Anthony Gelling swooping for Wire's opener.

Two more Wolves scores sent Saints to the sheds trailing 16-8, but a Regan Grace score made it game on as they battled to get back on top.

Alas 15 minutes from time Saints were hit by Josh Charnley's second, from a controversial Gelling header, making their task even harder.

Back they came, with Kevin Naiqama finishing off a fine move on the wing 10 minutes from time, but agonisingly Coote's kick to level went wide.

Warrington were able to see the game home, but they were aided and abetted by some sloppy play from the Saints.

Although they had no problem in yardage, particularly when Alex Walmsley was on the park, their last tackle options often fell flat and on two or three occasions there was some uncharacteristically loose passing from dummy half when good, crisp passing was essential.

It is not a time to panic - it was an even game - but there are things Saints need to do much better the next time the Wolves come a hunting.

Warrington: Ashton, Mamo, King, Gelling, Charnley, Austin, Ratchford, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Clark. Subs: Murdoch-Masila, Philbin, Davis, Walker.

Tries: Gelling, Charnley (2), Ashton. Goals: Ratchford (2)

Saints: Coote; Welsby, Naiqama, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley,Roby, Graham, Bentley, Taia, Knowles. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Amor, Smith.

Tries: Lomax, Grace, Naiqama.

Goals: Coote (3).