Warrington ended their two match losing sequence by earning a much needed two points defeating Crusaders 64-6.
The Wolves had previously lost to both Catalan and Huddersfield prior to this game and needed a win to keep the pressure on Huddersfield at the top of the league.
Rhys Hanbury silenced the home crowd early on after a darting solo run confounded the Warrington defence. Captain Clinton Schifcofske converted the try, but that turned out to be the only highlight for the visitors in the opening half.
A quarter of an hour later Brett Hodgson eased the home team’s nerves finding a gap in the Crusaders’ defence to dove over for his opening score of the evening.
It was Hodgson’s grubber kick into the Crusaders’ in-goal five minutes later that set up Ben Westwood, and allowed the former Wakefield player to pounce on the ball and claim the try.
Moments later Rhys Williams, who had a brief loan spell at the Crusaders early in the season, provided more misery for his former club when he dived over in the corner. Slick passing movement from Louis Anderson and Ryan Atkins set up the Welsh international, and the Wolves were looking comfortable leading 18-6.
However the opening half’s try scoring opportunities weren’t over. Michael Monaghan’s high cross field kick was juggled by Anderson before grounding the ball in front of the Crusaders’ faithful travelling support.
The second half started even badly for the Crusaders. The youngster, Williams, made a break down the touchline but was surrounded by the Crusaders’ defence. Williams kicked the ball towards his opponents’ try line, but Ryan Atkins was giving chase and dived on the ball to give the Wolves an even healthier lead.
By now the Crusaders were being outplayed in all areas, and the next two tries demonstrated that. Brett Hodgson’s break ten metres from the Crusaders’ try line set up Ben Westwood who was in support to touch down his second try in front of the home fans.
Moments later and almost from the restart, Michael Monaghan broke the Welsh side’s line from inside his own half. He had support either side of him but chose to gift the try to Chris Bridge who made no mistake in grounding the ball over the line.
On the hour mark Louis Anderson offloaded to Ryan Atkins who found space to run. But despite having Williams in support, Atkins didn’t need him as the former Wakefield centre beat fullback Schifcofske on his own to score under the posts and claim his second try of the evening.
It was handbags at dawn with 11 minutes left to play, as Vince Mellars and Chris Bridge were both sent to the sin bin for fighting on the half way line. Warrington were awarded the penalty, and from the resulting set of six Richie Myler set up Hodgson with an inside ball, and that put the Wolves on the 50 point mark. Hodgson’s conversion took the home team 52-6 ahead.
Then a strong contender for try of the season was scored by Richie Myler. Joel Monaghan made a break, but was brought down 40 metres from the try line in the centre of the field. The Wolves kept the ball alive on the next tackle, and after the ball went through several pairs of hands, Atkins was able to dance his way towards the Crusaders’ line and offloaded to Myler to seal an highly expected win for Warrington.
Warrington: Hodgson, Williams, Grix, Atkins, J Monaghan, Bridge, Myler, Morley, M Monaghan, Carvell, Anderson, Westwood, Harrison. Subs: Solomona, Cooper, Wood, Higham.
Crusaders: Schifcofske, Tansey, Martin, Thomas, Mellars, Witt, Hanbury, Moore, Withers, O’Hara, Cahill, Johnson, Lupton. Subs: Bryant, James, Winterstein, Sammut.
Warrington tries: Hodgson (2), Westwood (2), Williams, Anderson, Atkins (2),Bridge, J Monaghan, Myler. Goals: Hodgson (10)
Crusaders tries: Hanbury. Goals: Schifcofske
Warrington sin bin: Bridge.
Crusaders sin bin: Mellars.
Referee: Tim Roby