Warrington Hang on For Good Win
By David Jervis
Excellent 1st half performance sees them through
Warrington 26 Douglas (IoM) 22
More than once this season, Warrington have come back after being behind at half time. However, on Saturday, after establishing a 26-3 half-time lead, they managed to hang on to their unbeaten home record against an accomplished visiting side, whose relentless pressure in the second half saw them score 19 unanswered points to provide a nail-biting finish
Douglas, who lie second in the leaguetable, seemed to be resting on their laurels as the home side leapt into first half action. The game began at high pace with both sides probing and meeting resolute defence. The game burst into life after 15 minutes when substitute hooker Alex Stuart, who had just replaced the injured Paul Thompson, intercepted a stray pass 60 yards out and just made it to the line for the opening score.
The score seemed to stun the visitors and Warrington began to play with pace and inventiveness which is their hallmark. Good work down the right wing saw Tom Wood take the ball15 metres to score in the corner. Darren Norman extended the lead to 12-0 with an excellent conversion.
Although Douglas opened their account with a penalty try, the home side had the wind in their sails and Pilkington added to his impressive try tally by racing over from 15 metres. That score was followed by an excellent switch move between Tom Wood and Kieran Hughes, which saw the exciting centre take an exquisite line to scorch over between the posts and the Darren Norman conversion established what seemed to be a commanding 26-3 lead at half time.
Little did Warrington know that they were not to score again as a determined and talented away side took charge in the second half and hardly allowed the Warrington backs any ball. Wave after wave of attacks were repelled. The home defence was hard working and generally sound but, attacking at pace, the Douglas backs got their just reward by scoring three tries and left the home side battered and hanging on for a very hard-earned victory.
“Douglas are a good experienced side,” said coach Andy Roberts, “and perhaps we relaxed too much at half time. But our scrummaging was good and, with the ball, we are as good as anyone. We are a young side and I hope we will absorb lessons from this game. We are undefeated at home and now we face a run of games over Christmas at Walton Lea. However, a tough game at Broughton Park awaits us next week. There are no easy games in this league”.