Six-Try Performance Keeps Warrington in North 1 West
By David Jervis
Manchester and Waterloo must now battle it out to avoid drop
Anselmians 14 Warrington 40
A stop-go performance, featuring six excellent tries, ensured Warrington’s place in next season’s North 1 West. This was guaranteed later when news came of the defeats of both Manchester and Firwood Waterloo, which means that the game between these two giants of yesteryear next week will determine who joins Anselmians and De La Salle in the lower division in September.
Warrington began this game rather nervously and the first of many mistakes came within two minutes when they knocked on in their own 22. However, they made immediate amends for this by driving the opposition pack off their own ball and quickly set up am attack. Strangely, they were penalized at a second scrum but the Anselmians’ kick was wide. The first Warrington score seemed to have come when Steve Pilkington made a telling break and kicked ahead. The ever-dangerous Nathan Beesley followed up and touched down but the linesman belatedly signaled that the winger had stepped in touch and the try was disallowed.
Ten minutes later, Tom Wood was held up over the line and when Warrington knocked on from the subsequent scrum, the chance had vanished. But, inevitably the opening try came when Tom Arnold broke out of his own 22, shrugged off two tackles and handed onto Dan Fleming, who showed hitherto-hidden pace to race over from 40 yards.
Shortly after, the backs combined well and Kieron Hughes made the half break before passing to Steve Pilkington, who finished clinically from 30 yards. Nathan Beesley showed his versatility by stepping up to convert the try. Warrington, enjoying a plethora of possession, then started to attack through their forwards. They were unlucky not to score after a forward drive but the referee claimed he was unsighted and gave an attacking scrum. Warrington used the scrummage platform well and prolonged driving eventually saw ubiquitous hooker Chris White claim the touch down. Beesley again converted from close to the touchline and the sides turned around with Warrington 19-0 ahead.
The scoreboard was soon ticking over again when Warrington won quick ball and Kieron Hughes slipped a pass to Nathan Beesley, who flipped a superb back-of-hand pass to Chris White who crossed for his second score of the match, to gain Warrington the four-try bonus point. Once again, Beesley converted from the touchline.
It wasn’t long before a further seven points was added to Warrington’s total. Kieron Hughes received the ball from a scrum on the half-way line and the little magician showed that he has lost none of his exceptional talent by dancing through the defence and sprinting the final thirty yards to touch down under the posts. Beesley made no mistake with the conversion.
Anselmians then had their ten minutes of glory, first when they scored a beautifully worked try between the sticks and then when they were awarded a penalty try. But it was Warrington who had the last word and, fittingly, it was scored by the talismanic Tom Wood, who demonstrated his signature show-and-go to ghost over for a try, which was again converted by Nathan Beesley.
“This was probably not our best performance of the season,” admitted coach Andy Roberts. “We made too many mistakes and perhaps a few of the players were a little to anxious to get on the score-sheet. Still, it was a five-pointer, which combined with other results today, guarantees our place in this league next season. Next week, we play third-placed Birkenhead Park in a match, which kicks off at 1.30. Birkenhead Park also play our second team in a 3.30 kick-off. It should be a great afternoon’s rugby!”