WATCH: Outstanding Matty Ashton’s eight-minute hat-trick
Warrington coach Daryl Powell hailed outstanding Matty Ashton following his second half hat-trick in the 38-20 win over Leigh Leopards.
Ashton put the game to bed in eight blistering minutes soon after half-time with three strong finishes in the left corner.
His first try came on 43 minutes when George Williams ran a play on the last tackle, and Ben Currie got away a superb one-handed offload for Ashton to walk in at the corner.
A cut-out pass by Matt Dufty was helped on expertly by Stefan Ratchford for Ashton to finish strongly for his second, and he took a cop to the head for his troubles which meant Warrington were awarded a third eight-point try in their last two home games.
The eight-minute hat-trick was complete on 51 minutes when Danny Walker picked him out with a long pass.
Coach Daryl Powell said: “Ashton’s so brave and he really puts his foot down, especially with the penalty try and we’ve had three of them in five games now.
“Both wingers have been absolutely outstanding at the start of this season.”
An eight-minute hat-trick for @WarringtonRLFC's @MattyyAshton 🐺#SuperLeague #SLWarLei pic.twitter.com/XjMW9zXjAA
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) March 17, 2023
Warrington lost their other winger Josh Thewlis to a concussion late in the first half, which rules him out of next week’s trip to Castleford.
It provides an opportunity for Matty Russell to come back in to the squad, and he has been withdrawn by Powell from the Wolves’ reserves clash with Hull KR on Saturday.
Ashton’s treble took the half-time score from 22-8 to 38-8 and essentially killed the game as a contest.
While Powell was happy with his side’s response to his instructions at half-time, he was a little disappointed with the way they finished the game.
Powell added: “We spent a lot of time defending our line in the first half, and I just said we need to get in to a set-by-set battle and get a bit more territory, we only had 25% in the first half. We made too many errors and I just felt we needed to tidy our game up. It was just about flipping our mentality.
“Those three quick tries almost took us too far ahead, and we overplayed a bit. We invited the opposition back and it was a bit more uncomfortable than it should have been.
“But I’m really pleased with the win and the improvements we’re showing.”
MORE: Warrington 38-20 Leigh: Another eight-point try and an eight-minute hat-trick as Wire win again