Another Loss Makes It Four in a Row
Early season Champagne rugby now a dim and distant memory
Altrincham Kersal 14 Warrington 3
Warrington conspired to lose their fourth game on the bounce and, once again, to a side more than ten points below them in the league table. Since Christmas, they have gone from a team which was challenging for a possible end of season play-off for promotion to a team struggling to continue mid-table.
From the kick-off, it was apparent that they were going to be under the cosh in the set scrums and the well-drilled Altrincham eight went on to push Warrington off four of their own put-ins. It was from a set scrum that Altrincham scored their first try when quick ball was released to the backs and their busy back row scuttled through a weak Warrington defence to touch down and allow an easy conversion.
Just before half time, Ben Hockenhull cut the deficit with a well-struck penalty but the sides turned round with Altrincham leading 7-3.
The second half brought no up-turn in Warrington’s fortunes. There was generally a total lack of creativity and flair and their early season champagne brand of rugby is now a dim and distant memory. Instead, they reverted to 1950s-style “kick and clap” rugby union – but without the clap. There were, however, some bright points. Sean Callendar was magnificent in the lines against very competitive opposition, while Phil Lynch continued to make ground in the loose. Unfortunately, Warrington could find no answer to Altrincham’s rush defence and their aggressive determination at the breakdown. At one stage, the visitors seemed to have injected some momentum into their play but this faded away and the home side sealed the game with a well taken converted try in the last quarter.
“Obviously, heavy grounds and wet conditions don’t suit our style of rugby,” conceded coach Andy Roberts. “However, to succeed in this league we’ll have to learn. We have a week off next Saturday so, hopefully, we can re-focus before we travel to Firwood Waterloo for what will be a difficult fixture.