IT will be a happy Christmas at Warrington Rugby Union Club.
A decent showing against ninth-placed Winnington Park on Saturday would leave them top of the tree going into the festive break with a stunning record of 14 wins from as many games.
It would complete what has already been a remarkable turnaround for Steve Riley’s boys, who this time last season had only one victory to their name.
Marking the progress at mid-table Ruskin Park at the weekend, and following up their 92-5 embarrassment of Orrell last time out, the second nilling of the season was achieved.
In doing so the Walton Lead Road outfit showed one of the key strengths that has characterised their rise - an ability to adapt their style to suit the opposition and conditions.
“I think we proved on Saturday that we are not a one-trick pony and that, if we have to, we can win ugly,” said a quietly pleased Riley.
“We defended superbly throughout and snapped up the chances when they came.
“We have just one more game this year against Winnington Park. I am sure that all the lads will be totally focused on that to ensure that we all enjoy the well-earned Christmas break.”
Warrington used the stiff breeze in their favour to build pressure against resolute Ruskin and managed to chalk up a 15-0 lead by the interval.
Quick hands from number eight Ashley Rockey from a scrum gave evergreen winger Kevin Jones the space to open Warrington’s account.
Matthew Rockey added the difficult conversion and stretched the lead to 10-0 with a penalty.
Full back Luke Johnson entered the line at pace to complete the half’s scoring.
Warrington’s defence was at its gritty best to rebuke a determined Ruskin fightback and their bulldog spirit was rewarded when Ashley Rockey combined cleverly with brother Matt for Warrington’s third try in the 60th minute.
The bonus-point try did not come until the last minute when subtle interplay with stand off Andy Roberts paved the way for Matt Rockey’s second try and his personal haul of 19 points.