Vale of Lune 28 Warrington 18
In a game between two sides which are both re-organising after close season defections, for the second week in succession, Warrington narrowly failed to claim an away losing bonus point, although this was a match they could just as easily have won.
Warrington began strongly and this pressure gave them an early penalty which was duly despatched by Darren Norman. Vale soon replied when they won the ball at a scrum in the Warrington 22 and good handling from the backs saw them score in the corner. An excellent conversion saw the home side take a 7-3 lead. The rest of the first half was then littered by mistakes and handling errors from two sides trying to adjust to the pace of playing at this level before Warrington were dealt a serious blow when their senior back, Tom Arnold, the sole survivor from last season’s excellent back line, was forced to leave the field with a leg injury. However, Warrington maintained their aggression and a second penalty from Darren Norman saw the sides turn round with the score at 7-6.
Vale increased their lead early in the second period with a scrambled try, although the subsequent conversion appeared to be taken from a position which was ten yards closer to the posts from the touch-down. A third Vale try was scored shortly afterwards try following a telling break from the right centre and the conversion gave the home side a 15 point lead.
However, Warrington were far from finished and a strong run from Max Caldwell saw the forwards re-cycle the ball with patience before space was created for right winger Jack Morgan to stroll over unopposed. Darren Norman converted. Ten minutes later, the ever-vigilant Sean Callendar charged down a Vale attempted clearance kick, picked up the ball and crossed in the corner to take Warrington within three points of their opponents.
Unfortunately, Vale had the last word when they applied pressure on the Warrington line and their industrious scrum half, who was feisty and creative throughout stole over for a well-deserved try, which was converted.
“Obviously, we are still a work in progress,” admitted coach Andy Roberts. “But once again we showed great spirit, in both defence and attack. I am confident that we can improve with every game to once again become a force in this very difficult league.”