Warrington Pace Again Beats Forward Power
By David Jervis
Four-try bonus point win eases relegation fears
De La Salle 12 Warrington 24
Warrington’s all-round pace proved just too much for a competitive and aggressive De La Salle outfit and the four-try bonus point win takes them up to tenth place in the league. Next week sees them play Penrith, who are just one point ahead, at home and a win would move them further away from the relegation zone.
The home side began strongly and put the visitors under early pressure. However, the Warrington defence stood firm and when play eventually moved to the De La Salle half, Warrington secured a good scrum and the ball found Jamie Thompson, who made ground before passing onto Nathan Beasley. The winger, not for the first time this season, showed his electric speed, and outpaced the cover to touch down under the posts. Darren Norman converted.
De La Salle quickly came back and their hard, direct running, excellent off-loading and robust pack, where their excellent tight head prop led the way, soon told Warrington that this was not going to be a stroll in the park. Eventually, the home side were rewarded for their efforts with a good try in the corner and an even better conversion from the touchline to level the scores.
Warrington’s reply was immediate and direct. Tom Arnold took an excellent catch from the restart and the ball flashed across to Nathan Beasley, who kicked ahead and then won the footrace to the line to score in the corner. Just before half time, Warrington were again pressing on the opposition line. Showing great patience, the Warrington forwards went though the phases before Jamie Thompson spotted a gap in the De La Salle defence and crashed over. Darren Norman converted to make the score 19-7 at the turn-around.
There were two chances to increase the Warrington lead early in the second half. First when they forced a series of penalties in the home side’s five yard zone but were unable to drive over from the subsequent line-outs. And secondly, when Jonny Evans, who was outstanding throughout, charged down an attempted clearance kick but was unable to reach the ball before it crossed the dead ball line. However, from the 22 metre restart drop kick, Nathan Beasley caught the ball, made ground across the field before kicking ahead. Darren Norman then showed that pace is not solely the domain of the winger and followed up the kick to touch down.
With the four-try bonus point now secure, Warrington probably took their foot off the gas and De La Salle took advantage to bully their way over in the corner. Although the game was now all but over as a contest, De La Salle refused to concede defeat until the final whistle although the highlight of the closing minutes was a thirty yard Warrington driving maul, which could well have gone all the way.
“Job done!” was the verdict of coach Andy Roberts. “The five points were essential and we got them. But we still need to up our game in the remaining five matches.”