15-try Wolves wreak havoc on Broncos
London Broncos 10 Warrington Wolves 82
By Rachel Arnett (photo courtesy of Neil Ashurst)
Milestones: 300th club appearance for Ben Westwood
Record away win for the club
Warrington Wolves travelled down to Gillingham as their opponents London Broncos took the Round 18 fixture on the road.
The sun was shining in the south of the country as the Wolves u19s Academy side secured a victory in the curtain-raiser to the Super League game. Could the first team follow this up with a win of their own to secure the double over the Broncos this season?
The Wolves went into the game off the back of a strong performance and comprehensive win over Salford and the Broncos also showed some good form last time out when they held Castleford to a draw.
The visitors 17 saw just one change from last week with Hodgson making his return from injury and Waterhouse out; a few positional changes were also made but Tony Smith went with the same four on the bench.
The Broncos also saw minimal changes with just two different names in the 17; Sarginson and Grady in, and Gower and Rodney out
The Military Wives built up the pre-match atmosphere as the Wolves and Broncos prepared to do battle on the pitch.
The Wolves took a stranglehold on the game from the kick-off and went on to secure a club record away win. The visitors led throughout the game and put their foot on the accelerator in the second half to break away from the home side who had managed to hang in at the end of the first half to get on the score sheet.
Ratchford showed the intentions of the Wolves early on with a chip-kick 20 metres out. Joel Monaghan chased the ball to the in-goal area but it skipped away before he could ground it. The Wolves came close again when Currie charged down a kick to race 30 metres but the referee called play back for offside and the Broncos were back in possession. But on nine minutes the Wolves broke the deadlock. The build-up play saw both sides put the ball to ground before quick hands saw Hill power over for the first score of the game.
Higham and Riley came close as the Wolves continued to build pressure and create opportunities but the Broncos' line held strong to keep them out.
Mendeika looked to have levelled the score on 15 minutes when he touched down in the corner but a knock-on was ruled after a scramble in the air following the high kick on the last. Dixon came close in the opposite corner following up a grubber kick but knocked on to deny an equaliser.
Momentum then switched in the Wolves' favour and Joel Monaghan was over on 19 minutes. A Briers' chip-kick through was followed up, collected well and quick hands opened up space for Joel to run in for the try.
As the half-hour mark approached Michael Monaghan came on from the bench and made an instant impact showing skill down the left to cross in the corner. Myler was over next from close range two minutes later. The Wolves matched this attack with their defence as they kept the Broncos back.
Michael Monaghan looked to have crossed for his second on 34 minutes but was ruled to have been held up over the line. As the Wolves kept challenging the line a quick dummy made sure he was over a minute later.
The Broncos had the final say of the half when they took advantage of some field position and built some pressure. A knock-on by the Wolves saw the Broncos play advantage and the ball was carried right to left to open up space for Dixon to cross in the corner making no mistake on this occasion. The conversion couldn't be added and following Ratchford's four successful conversions the half-time score was 28-4 to the visitors.
The second half started in the same vein as after just two minutes Myler was over for his second under the sticks. Great play down the middle of the field and quick hands kept the ball alive to open up space for Myler to race in.
With similar build-up play Westwood was next over. Quick hands between Ratchford and Hodgson drew in the defence and a quick pass to Westwood saw him run the angle to cross in the corner.
Tries were scored in quick succession as the pace of the Wolves dominated the play and possession. Atkins was next over as he scrambled from the tackle over the line to ground the ball. Tries for Riley and Ratchford followed on opposite wings before Atkins crossed for his second.
The Broncos found a consolation try within the Wolves' medley when Mendeika found a gap to cross in the corner. Witt was able to add the conversion but this was to be the last for the home side as the Wolves fought back.
The latter stages of the game saw a try from Higham, who took an inside ball from Ratchford, and a hat-trick for Grix who showed pace down the right to weave through the defence for three tries in nine minutes to have the final say of the game.
Wolves' head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith said: "I thought we were good there and turned out. I thought, in the first half, we were probably guilty of trying too hard. We came here with every intent of putting on a good display; we came down here last year and were on the other end of a score line similar to that and you could feel the boys were bubbling through the week in order to get a good performance and they did that and in good style; particularly in the second half. We played with a lot more control second half, as in the first half we were trying too hard to get that sort of score line from the off; once we got our heads around how to go about it the score line was going to be hard to stop."
And on the players' disappointment with the tries conceded he added: "I think it's a mark of the pride they are putting into their defence and that's been ongoing for a number of weeks now...Our opponents have some dangerous players when they are allowed to run and put on some plays, and that kid (Dixon) on the wing, when he has ball in his hand, is exciting to watch; he caused a couple of problems from time to time but across the board our defence was pretty much spot on for most of the game."
Dan Sarginson, Michael Robertson, James Mendeika, Michael Channing, Kieran Dixon, Michael Witt, Luke Dorn, Scott Wheeldon, Ben Fisher, Tony Clubb, Chris Melling, Chris Bailey, Olsi Krasniqi
Subs: Mark Bryant, Mike Bishay, Antonio Kaufusi, Shane Grady
Tries: Dixon, Mendeika
Brett Hodgson, Chris Riley, Ryan Atkins, Stefan Ratchford, Joel Monaghan, Lee Briers, Richie Myler, Chris Hill, Micky Higham, Paul Wood, Ben Westwood, Simon Grix, Ben Currie
Subs: Adrian Morley, Michael Monaghan, Garreth Carvell, Tyrone McCarthy
Tries: Hill, J Monaghan, M Monaghan (2), Myler (2), Westwood, Atkins (2), C Riley, Ratchford, Grix (3), Higham
Goals: Ratchford (10), Briers
Game pictures below courtesy of Bob Brough
09, Jun, 2013