43 mins: Goodwin immediately gains 30 metres. Saints see it out but cough it up inside their own half. Exactly the start the Wire would have wanted.
The teams are back out. Can Saints turn it around in the second half? The restart to come shortly.
An update from Aaron at Wembley:
Well, who saw this coming? Not only have Warrington handled everything St Helens have thrown at them commendably, but they have also timed their moments in attack to perfection, too. Their 12-point lead at half-time is thoroughly deserved and having succumbed last year as the overwhelming favourites, Warrington are doing to Catalans what the Dragons did to them 12 months ago.
The big worry for Saints is not the scoreline at present – there is still plenty of time left in that regard – but the fact that this is not the kind of weather to be playing catch-up in. If Warrington score first after half-time, they then have a huge mountain to climb.
Half time: St Helens 0-12 Warrington
Incredible effort from Warrington as they go in with a two-try lead. The Wire have defended like a port in a storm, it has looked rough at times but they have stood firm when it mattered.
40 mins: A soft Warrington penalty in their own 10 gives Saints big chance to get one back before the break but Warrington hold firm to see off the set. Daryl Clark makes a huge tackle to stop as the Wire survive.
38 mins: Saints now struggling to make inroads. Their latest set ends just inside the Warrington half but Ratchford’s poor fizzing kick to corner means Saints start their return in decent position.
Try! St Helens 0-12 Warrington
34 mins: Ben Murdoch-Masila makes Saints pay! The big forward forces his way over after Jack Hughes’ short pass out to the right. Ratchford again is reliable with the boot.
32 mins: Huge error from Coote! Under no pressure from a Ratchford high kick, on his own line the full-back shells the catch. Warrington with another big chance.
30 mins: Saints get a penalty but squander the opening with a forward pass. Th favourites look a little rattled by that Philbin score.
28 mins: The game’s second penalty again gives Warrington a chance of a full set in good starting position. This time Murdoch-Masila is held up and possession changes hands.
Try! St Helens 0-6 Warrington
26 mins: Grace is ruled to played loose ball and give Warrington a new set in good field position. Clark makes break and off loads to the replacement Joe Philbin who eventually bowls over the line after picking a great line. Ratchford adds the extras and the Wire take a shock lead, game on!
25 mins: No try as Mark Percival touches down for Saints but Robert Hicks takes this one to the video referee and with a knock on in the build what looks like a first score of the game is ruled out. Warrington breathe again.
21 mins: A strong defensive set from Warrington means Saints must start their latest attack from deep in their own half. With a third of the pitch bathed in sunshine it is bound to be hot on the playing surface, you feel fatigue could be a big factor as this goes on. Warrington are working hard but it is Saints who are constantly probing in attack.
19 mins: Wasted chance for the Wire on the first set with the ball ultimately ushered over the dead ball line by Saints. Second time around Jason Clark knocks on 35 metres out, ending the danger.
17 mins: Saints have looked less secure defending on their left flank, Ratchford sends up a kick and there’s a knock on from a player in white. Real chance for Warrington score with a full set inside the Saints’ 10 metre line.
15 mins: Almost immediately Saints go up the other end after a big break Kevin Naigama, Grace has a chance of a score on the left but is just held up.
13 mins: Daryl Clark breaks a tackle and stays on his feet to see Warrington make good ground in the Saints half. Ratchford’s kick is not cleanly taken Regan Grace but there is a knock on from the Wire, let off.
10 mins: Makinson makes a great take virtually on his own line and gets the Saints set off to a strong start, making 30 metres. The attack ends in Warrington penalty but Saints are making good ground with virtually every set at the moment. Still all square though.
7 mins: St Helens certainly living up to their billing in the opening stages here but so far Warrington have been stout in defence. A shock knock-on from Walmsley ends Saints’ latest attack.
3 mins: Saints think they have an early score as Tommy Makinson breaks a tackle off the right wing before Theo Fages dinks under the posts but referee Robert Hicks does not bother to send it up for a check as Morgan Knowles reaches it and think he has touched down. Replays suggest it was a try.
2 mins: Saints rumble down field and Coote hoists a kick that immediately has Ratchford at full-back under pressure but he takes it well and Warrington work it clear.
Peeeep! We are underway at Wembley
1 min: Stafan Ratchford kicks us off.
A bit of pre-match patter from Aaron Bower at Wembley:
The build-up has been almost entirely dominated by the fitness of Blake Austin, but in truth, the focus here should be on this St Helens side. If they execute their game-plan like they have done on a near-weekly basis in Super League this season, you suspect it will be irrelevant whether Austin is out there or not come full-time.
This is all about the Saints. If they can handle the pressure of being overwhelming favourites, they should win the game. A fast start will be key for Warrington if they are to stand a chance; too many times this year have the Saints been well ahead by the end of the opening quarter. If that happens today, it could be a long afternoon for the Wire.
Before Abide With Me, Wembley pays its respects to young Batley Bulldogs half-back Archie Bruce with a minute’s applause.
With the traditional pre-match anthem done, the players make their way on to the Wembley pitch. Kick-off is imminent.
Just over ten minutes to go until kick-off. Here is a little pre-match reading.
Aaron Bower is Wembley today. Here are his thoughts on Warrington’s starting line-up.
Here are today’s starting line-ups.
Warrington Wolves: Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Tony King, Josh Charnley, Ben Currie, Declan Patton, Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jack Hughes, Jason Clark.
Bench: Sitaleki Akauola, Joe Philbin, Matt Davis, Jake Mamo.
St Helens: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dominique Peyroux, Morgan Knowles.
Bench: Joseph Paulo, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Jack Ashworth.
There can rarely have been a final, in any sport, where first is playing second but one team is such an overwhelming favourite.
Warrington, without their leading try scorer, mercurial Australian stand-off Blake Austin, can be found at 11/4. Considering there are only teams in this final that is remarkable.
However, the Wire only have to look at their own defeat in this very fixture last year to banish the idea that this is an impossible task. Although Steve Price might not want to bring up the 14-20 defeat to Catalans Dragons it could provide some inspiration.
For Justin Holbrook and Saints it is time to deliver. The team were runaway leaders last year in the league and looking good in this competition but ended the season empty handed. With the St Helens coach back off to his native Australia at the end of the season his window for success is closing. It helps that prop Alex Walmsley, hooker James Roby and full-back Lachlan Coote are all back after they missed the recent league win at Leeds.
Both teams will be named shortly and then we will see if the Wire can make this interesting. Let’s hope so.