Wolves sink their teeth into the Vikings
The second match of the Rugby League Magic Weekend featured Warrington Wolves and the Widnes Vikings and LS Sports Chris Powell was there to watch the action…
Warrington came into this game on the back of a big win last weekend against Wakefield and they continued in the same style in this fixture by scoring two tries within the first ten minutes.
Matty Blythe was the first to go over after a nice string of passes stretched the Widnes defense. This was then followed by Garreth Carvell barraging through the middle of the field to go over under the posts. Gareth O’Brien added the extras and Warrington were quickly in the ascendancy.
Widnes finally got out of their own half and created a couple of half chances which Warrington easily broke up and when Blythe picked the ball up in his own half and broke the line it looked like more points were on the cards for Warrington until the Widnes defense got back to cover.
The Vikings could not stop the inevitable though and Joel Monaghan went over for the Wolves to open up the lead further.
Widnes nearly got themselves back into the game but a strong Wolves defense held firm preventing the Vikings the try they needed. Their time spent in the Warrington half was once again short lived and Ryan Atkins finished off a nice Warrington move to extend their lead and with O’Brien adding the extras it was hard to see Widnes getting back into the game.
The punishment continued when Monaghan leaped highest to claim an inch perfect cross field kick to touch down in the corner and minutes later he completed his hat-trick by having an easy run in after a tremendous break by Stefan Ratchford. Briers was in great kicking form knocking over both conversions to give Warrington a 34-0 lead after just twenty-eight minutes.
Widnes defense once again crumbled and when the ball went loose at the breakdown Blythe was on hand to scoop the ball up and have a simple run in under the posts, O’Brien added the extras to make it a 6 point try and continue the Vikings misery.
Widnes threatened but the Warrington defense stood firm making important tackles to keep the Vikings still looking for their first points. However as was the trend of the match Warrington were back in the Widnes half and if the Vikings defense had not held up the Wolves would have had even more points. At the sound of the hooter Warrington were 40-0 up and very much in the driving seat.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with huge Warrington pressure and they would have stretched their lead within five minutes of the second half had Waterhouse not fumbled the ball going over the line.
A cheap penalty gave Widnes a good footing to launch an attack but they were held up over the line and still could not get any points on the board. However on there next return to the Warrington half they did not leave disappointed, Kurt Haggerty bundling over the line to finally get Widnes off the mark. Rhys Hanbury could not add on the extras though leaving the Vikings trailing by 36 points.
Widnes thought they had another try however the TMO did not agree, not allowing it for a knock on and after soaking up pressure for a large part of the second half Warrington were back to scoring ways and Monaghan went over for his fourth try of the match. O’Brien happily added the conversion with Warrington going over forty points clear.
And it was not long before another of the Warrington players secured their hat-trick of tries. Matty Blythe going over after a good passing move and handing off the tired Widnes defense. O’Brien kicked the conversion to keep the scoreboard ticking over and with fifteen minutes to go it was 52-4 to Warrington.
Warrington then began to turn on the style playing intricate passing moves opening up the Widnes defense and going over again with Ratchford getting himself amongst the tries. Again the Vikings line was breached when Ben Currie went over under the posts to cement Warringtons supremacy. O’Brien was back on target having missed the previous conversion to make the score 62-4.
The game ended just like it had begun and Warrington scored with the last play of the game. The bounce of the ball eluded the Widnes defense letting Monaghan sneak into the corner to score his fifth try of the match. O’Brien dutifully added the conversion to send the Warrington fans into jubilation and to the top of the league.