Widnes u19 17 Warrington u19 18
THERE is no such thing as a free lunch in knockout rugby as Warrington discovered today.
After weeks and weeks without a game, Warrington were lacking in intensity and accuracy for large parts of their Lancashire Cup fixture against a determined Widnes team who were keen to upset the League One champions, but they turned the screw in the final quarter to clinch a win.
This campaign has been an interesting one for a squad used to overwhelming their opposition in previous seasons.
League Three winners Widnes were well up for the fixture and showed real ambition in attack and total commitment in defence which in fairness seem to take the young wire side by surprise.
Saturday senior rugby impacted on Warrington's concentration levels and Widnes took advantage by scoring a well-worked first try 15 minutes in through some lapses in defence.
Wire came back with a pen from skipper Jacob Riley to get the board ticking.
Slowly Warrington started to control more phases and quick ball from broken play put fullback Cameron Lewis through the line to create a one-on-one no contest 7-10.
With Warrington coughing up some cheap turnovers through unforced handling errors and cheaper penalties Widnes soon came back with a second well-worked try on the right flank again down to lack of defensive organisation and nouse.
The second half saw the home team bag another penalty put Warrington under real pressure to pull something better out of the locker.
Wire worked some good field position and executed a well-worked lineout for Riley to score making it 17-15 with 15 minutes on the clock and high blood pressure for the Warrington coaching team.
Widnes ran and kicked with intelligence and will be ruminating over the decision not to go for three points when in range.
Warrington shook off their rust and really stepped up the attack in the final 10 minutes.
Both Hockenhull and Max Caldwell crossed the home team line only to be denied the score by some harsh decisions.
With a couple of minutes left on the clock Wire won a penalty and Jacob Riley's reliable right boot sent Wire into the next round to the relief of the lads and their supporters.