Written by John Davidson
Photo by BBC Sport
Warrington fullback Stefan Ratchford believes his team’s upset victory at Wembley can spur the Wolves on to claim their first-ever Super League title.
Ratchford has played in four Challenge Cup finals and won two of them – in 2012 and this year against St Helens.
Warrington were heavy underdogs against Saints and the fullback hopes Saturday’s performance demonstrates that they can now go all the way.
“It’s certainly a different feeling to the last couple of times down here,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable, you can’t really explain the feeling you get when you’re 18-4 up with four minutes to go and you’re thinking ‘we might have done enough here’.
“It’s just… it’s hard o explain. I’m just absolutely on top of the world and I just want to get that feeling more and more. Hopefully that feeling will spur us on in the bigger games.
“There was a couple of moments in the first half where it looked like they were going to score. Benny Murdoch on Zeb Taia, we had one on Regan Grace in the second half, Bryson Goodwin on Tommy Makinson, they’re the sort of things you need.
“Probably in a regular game Daz Clark isn’t in that position but when you get to these sort of games you need people turning up and being in places they shouldn’t be. It works wonders and we had a few big performances.”
Ratchford was one of Warrington’s best in the final, filling in at stand-off at times with Blake Austin missing.
The 31-year-old took on more responsibility in directing his team and kicking, and handled the role with ease.
Ratchford says the way the Wolves coped without Austin shows they are far from being a ‘one-man’ team.
“That’s the fun part of it,” he said.
“With someone like Blake he is quality an I think he does so many good things in a game so people say oh well, he is their best player.
“He is an unbelievable player but we said in the week if he was going to missing then different people would have to step up.
“It’s been quite a fun week because it’s almost the situation we were in last year – everyone wrote Catalans off last year, Warrington have already won it blah blah blah.
“We’ve had it this year – Saints have won it, Saints are the best team, they’re the most consistent. Everyone wrote us but in our little group, in our changing room at training we were quietly confident.
“We know we can mix it with the best. We knew we could get there, we just had to step up to the plate and do it for 80 minutes, and we pretty much did that today.”