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Depleted Warrington crush Widnes

Warrington Wolves came from behind to heap more misery on their bottom-of-the-table neighbours with an ultimately comfortable win that took them back to the top of Stobart Super League, at least for 24 hours.
Depleted Warrington crush Widnes
by NRL

Warrington Wolves came from behind to heap more misery on their bottom-of-the-table neighbours with an ultimately comfortable win that took them back to the top of Stobart Super League, at least for 24 hours.

Coach Tony Smith chose to rest seasoned campaigners Adrian Morley, Trent Waterhouse, Simon Grix, Michael Monaghan and Lee Briers with Monday's trip to Catalan Dragons in mind, and the gamble looked to have backfired when his side trailed 12-0.

But the Wolves roared back with 46 unanswered points to take the spoils from the first Super League derby with Widnes Vikings since 2005.

Smith gave a debut to 17-year-old second rower Ben Currie, with two other youngsters, Brad Dwyer and Gareth O'Brien, making second Super League appearances for the club, the latter after returning from a loan spell with the Vikings, and all performed creditably.

But winger Chris Riley stole the show with a hat-trick of tries while veteran Brett Hodgson chipped in with a try and seven goals.

The Vikings, fresh from a 76-6 hammering by Catalan Dragons, were without seven first-teamers through injury but they made a dream start, catching their hosts cold by scoring two tries inside the opening nine minutes.

Hooker Scott Moore and scrum-half Rhys Hanbury worked the ball out to the right, where centre Chris Dean touched down, and second rower David Allen then took Hanbury's short pass to crash over on the burst.

Patrick Ah Van added both goals and the Vikings were good value for their lead but Warrington gradually settled into the game once they stopped conceding needless penalties.

England centre Chris Bridge, switched to the pack in the absence of four forwards, started the fightback with two tries in three minutes, finishing off a break by the lively O'Brien and then dummying his way over for a solo score.

Acting captain Hodgson added both conversions to tie the scores and, after Joel Monaghan was denied a try for a forward pass, the Wolves went in front on 28 minutes when centre Ryan Atkins worked Riley over at the corner.

Warrington missed another glorious chance when Richie Myler failed to find unmarked winger Rhys Williams and the Wolves had a let-off early in the second half when Hanbury did wonderfully well to reach the line but lost control of the ball.

Bridge hobbled off, shortly after being held up over the line as he attempted to complete his hat-trick, but there was no way back for Widnes when Hodgson took Myler's pass to dummy his way over on 51 minutes and Atkins tip-toed down the wing for the home side's fifth try five minutes later.

As the visitors tired under incessant pressure on their own line, Dwyer nipped over from close range for his first try for the club and Riley squeezed over twice in the last four minutes to complete his hat-trick.


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