Rugby News Warrington Wolves reach Super League Grand Final

Warrington Wolves will play in the Grand Final for the third time after beating St Helens in the Super League play-off semi-final.

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Kurt Gidley, Stefan Ratchford and Tom Lineham all scored tries as Warrington Wolves outclassed St Helens to reach the Super League Grand Final thanks to an 18-10 victory on Thursday.

The Wolves, who secured the League Leaders' Shield by beating Hull FC 23-6 last weekend, trailed 10-8 at the break despite having enjoyed the better of the game, with Jonny Lomax's score and six points from Luke Walsh's boot helping to cancel out Gidley's opener.

But the home side, who have yet to win a Grand Final in the Super League era, were rewarded for a fine second-half performance as Ratchford - celebrating his 150th appearance - and Lineham took the game away from Saints at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Tony Smith's men will now face the winner of Friday's second play-off semi-final between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC - who defeated Warrington in this season's Challenge Cup final - at Old Trafford a week on Saturday.

Warrington made most of the early running, but all they had to show for the early pressure was two points from the boot of Declan Patton in the 20th minute that was soon cancelled out by Walsh's penalty for Saints.

The home side scored the game's first try in the 30th minute, though, when Gidley crashed onto Ratchford's pass and Patton added the extras, with Saints feeling aggrieved when the video referee decided there was no obstruction in the build-up.

But it was Saints that led at the break. Jordan Turner and Adam Swift combined brilliantly to break down the left before the latter set Lomax free to score under the posts. Walsh kicked the extras and added another penalty before the buzzer to put the visitors ahead by two.

At half-time a Wolves fan nailed the crossbar during a half-time kicking challenge and won a free trip to Australia to watch an NRL game.

And the feel-good factor continued when the match swung back in Warrington's favour early in the second half with Ratchford crossing from a clever pick-and-go after a sustained period of pressure.

Saints' task was made more difficult shortly after the hour when the ball was worked left to right for Lineham - whose double against Hull last weekend helped clinch top spot - to touch down in the corner.

The away side, Grand Final victors in 2014, pushed for the line in the closing stages and Dominique Peyroux thought he had scored in the 79th minute, but it was ruled he had not grounded the ball on the line and the Wolves held out, much to the delight of a raucous home crowd.

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