Warrington 2nd XV 17 - 14 Liverpool University Veterinarian School
By Dominic Hastings
Warrington brave the conditions to edge the students in a tough fought defensive thriller
Warrrington 2nd XV 17 – 14 Liverpool University Veterinarians
In conditions as bad as you could possibly hope for, Warrington and the Liverpool Uni Vets served up a game where passion and defensive resilience were in far more supply than attractive running rugby. With the tally between the sides this season standing at won one - lost one, it was the Vets who started the game in flying fashion, scoring in the first minutes. As is proving to be the case more often than not this season, it takes Warrington listening to captain Craig Byrne under the posts before they start playing and they replied almost straight after. Strong work through the middle from the Warrington pack set Byrne off on a trademark run 45 yards out. Byrne powered through the first two defenders before a swerving run and a swivel of the hips did for the full back as he dotted down to level the scores. As conditions worsened Byrne bundled the home side ahead when excellent support play mauled him over the line to give Warrington a 14-7 lead. Byrne then had to leave the field with a leg injury, Dan Griffiths stepping into skipper the side and also take on the kicking duties with Ben Dixon also being forced off. The Vets leveled up the score when their stand off collected a loose pass in front of a Warrington defence who stopped playing as the ball hit the ground allowing the Vet’s 10 to walk through and score by the posts and take the game into half time level at 14 all.
The 2nd half started in freezing rain but with a massively lifted tempo from both sides. Both packs were running hard at each other and after several phases of quickly recycled ball, Warrington were awarded a penalty to the left of the sticks on the Vets 22. Stand in skipper Griffiths took the responsibility and nudged Warrington ahead with a sweetly struck shot at goal and what was to be the last score of the game with more than 25 minutes left. The rest of the game saw Warrington’s green wall giving every drop of energy that they could muster up as the Vets continually hammered at the Warrington line with a lot of pick and go work from the rucks. As time wore down the Vets got closer and closer to the Warrington line when a combination of excellent tackling and strong scrummaging saw Warrington taking one against the head and able to clear their lines to hang on for a memorable 17-14 victory.
Special mentions go to; the whole of the Warrington front row who all put in a full shift and didn’t give an inch all day in the scrums which set a platform for the joint MoMs Tom Heaps and Andy Buck to tackle and tackle everything that came their way.
Captain Byrne commented that “This was a truly team performance with every single player giving their absolute all. This now takes us into the new year 3rd in the table (which having made all of the big away trips) gives us an excellent platform for the 2nd half of the season”.