Super League: Warrington Wolves 44-6 Widnes Vikings

Ben Currie

Warrington (24) 44

O'Brien, J Monaghan, M Monaghan, Bridge, Evans 2, Currie, Atkins
Bridge 4, Ratchford 2

Widnes (0) 6


Warrington thrashed a sorry Widnes side at the Halliwell Jones to leapfrog the Vikings in the Super League table.

The hosts dominated the first half, going into the break 24-0 up with tries from Gareth O'Brien, Joel Monaghan, Michael Monaghan and Chris Bridge.

Widnes struggled to gain a foothold, and fell further back through two Rhys Evans scores and one from Ben Currie.

The visitors got on the scoreboard when Paddy Flynn went over, but Ryan Atkins rounded off a Wolves win.

Despite missing three of their first-choice forwards in Paul Wood, Ben Westwood and Simon Grix, Warrington were ahead within the first five minutes when O'Brien powered through two tackles to cross the line, after Stefan Ratchford had been held up.

The hosts settled into their rhythm quickly, and went further ahead when O'Brien kicked for Joel Monaghan to touch down in the corner before Michael Monaghan crashed over from close range.

In a breathless opening period, both sides then had a try disallowed by the video referee; firstly when Widnes wing Flynn was deemed not to have grounded a kick-through, before Evans's try in the corner was ruled out for obstruction in the build-up.

Widnes, though, began to get a footing in the match, but after a sustained spell of pressure, Micky Higham burst through the middle of the visiting defence before laying-off to Bridge to score, and then added his fourth conversion of the half.

There was no let up after the break as Warrington, seeking revenge after Widnes did the double over them last year, saw Evans finish off a fine move in the corner.

Ireland international Currie then got in on the act, finishing off his own grubber kick after a fumble in the Widnes defence.

And, after man-of-the-match Chris Hill broke through the middle, Evans went over for his seventh league try of the season.

Widnes finally had some points on the board after Flynn rode the tackle of Currie to score their first try of the match, but soon afterwards Ben Evans offloaded to Atkins to give Warrington an emphatic victory.

Warrington coach Tony Smith said:

"Chris Hill was absolutely enormous out there today. I think there should be 17 votes for him as man of the match in the changing rooms and I would have no problem with him voting for himself, the way he played.

"Our boys have been trying just as hard in every other match, and things just clicked for them a little more today.

"Players need to know they are supported, too, when things are not so good - sometimes from the coach or sometimes from the people of the area or around the place.

"But it's certainly a performance to build on."

Widnes coach Denis Betts said:

"We let Warrington dominate us. What we did last year in our games against them was to be more enthusiastic, and that's what they did to us today.

"It's a tough place to come, and I think what happened last year and what has happened in Warrington's last home games played a part.

"We just turned up today without the right enthusiasm. The quality sides get a sniff and they get after you.

"Things went their way and that's because of their enthusiasm and attitude against ours."

Friday's line-ups

Warrington: Russell, R. Evans, Bridge, Atkins, J. Monaghan, O'Brien, Ratchford, Hill, M. Monaghan, Asotasi, Waterhouse, Laithwaite, Harrison.

Replacements: Higham for M. Monaghan (26), Riley for Asotasi (21), Currie for Laithwaite (41), B. Evans for Harrison (21).

Widnes: Hanbury, Flynn, Phelps, Dean, Owens, Brown, Craven, Gerrard, Clarke, Joseph, Galea, Tickle, Cahill, Kavanagh.

Replacements: Isa for Gerrard (19), White for Clarke (22), Kavanagh for Joseph (18), Clough for Kavanagh (41).

Att: 10,500

Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL)

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