Warrington Draw with Penrith with Last Minute Penalty
By David Jervis
Nail-biting finish to the season in store
Warrington 20 Penrith 20
In a tense and nervy match, where both sides perhaps had relegation prospects on their minds, Warrington managed to salvage two points with the very last kick of the game. The draw sees them drop to 11th in the league with four ties to play and particularly difficult fixtures against Douglas, Broughton Park and Birkenhead Park.
After a rather dour opening fifteen minutes, Warrington provided what was probably the highlight of the game when they scored a dazzling try. Under pressure deep in their own twenty two, the forwards managed to gain possession and the ball found Steve Pilkington who sliced through the Penrith defence for forty yards before putting in a well-judged kick-ahead. As ever, Nathan Beasley was alert to the opportunity and showed his electric speed to pick up and touch down. Darren Norman converted and Warrington were ahead.
Penrith replied when they enjoyed temporary numerical superiority when Josh Riley was sin-binned and scored two unconverted tries, first from a set scrum and then from a driving maul. Warrington quickly came back when the excellent Steve Pilkington again split the defence before handing on to Tom McEniff who squeezes in at the corner. Darren Norman’s conversion took the score to 14-10 in Warrington’s favour. Unfortunately, from the restart, Penrith forced a line-out ten yards from the Warrington line and their powerful pack shuffled over to give the visitors a 15-14 lead at half time.
The second half turned into a rather sterile affair, with both sides struggling to break the deadlock. Warrington went ahead thanks to a Norman penalty but with fifteen minutes to go Penrith once again used their muscular pack to drive over for what seemed the winning score. But Warrington kept on playing and their efforts were rewarded when they won a series of penalties in the closing minutes. Eventually, with the clock already in the red, they elected to kick their third penalty and settle for the draw.
“This was game we could have won,” commented coach Andy Roberts. “But, in the end, we were probably lucky to come away with a draw. We have a week off next Saturday but then face an exciting end to our season.”