WARRINGTON Wolves look set to end London Broncos’ stay in Super League after running in six first-half tries at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Joel Monaghan scored a first-half hat-trick, Ben Currie crossed twice and Chris Hill added another for Wolves, with young Joe Keyes replying for the visitors.
London, who will be relegated should they lose today, did not enjoy the greatest start when Jordan Atkins fumbled straight from kick off and the visitors were forced to return possession to Wolves with a drop out.
Chris Bridge collected and after Anthony England had drawn in several tacklers the ball was whisked wide to Gene Ormsby, who was denied by a last-ditch Ben Farrar tackle.
Three minutes in and Ben Westwood’s clever offload inside his own half released Monaghan, Wolves’ top try scorer this season made 40 metres before he was stopped.
Wolves kept the pressure in the London half and when Bridge hit Hill at pace it took four Broncos defenders to hold the powerful forward up over their own line.
But in the eighth minute Tony Smith’s side opened the scoring, Micky Higham picked up from dummy half and fed Bridge 15 metres out.
The half back looped a pass over the head of a London defender and it was superbly taken by Monaghan, who scooted over for a try. Bridge was unable to add the extras.
Seven minutes later and Wolves furthered their lead through a second Monaghan score, Higham was again involved as the ball moved through hands to put the centre in from close range. Bridge could not convert from wide out.
At the other end Wolves’ defence was looking fierce as Josh Drinkwater was driven back nearly 10 metres in the tackle by Ben Harrison.
But the visitors found a gap on 16 minutes when 18-year-old Keyes, making his second appearance for London, wriggled over the line to the left of the posts. Drinkwater converted.
A pressure cooker of a game for London boiled over with 20 minutes played when Bridge and Atelea Vea came to blows and the penalty was awarded to Wolves.
Two minutes later and things got worse for the side from the capital as a high ball inside their 10 metre line saw Hill catch at a height and his momentum took him over the line, Bridge converted.
Another Wolves score quickly followed, this time the hosts found space on the left through Currie and Rhys Evans.
The pair exchanged passes and after Evans had drawn in full back Farrar he played a neat ball back to Currie for the youngster to touchdown unopposed. Bridge extended Wolves’ lead to 14 points with the kick.
Less than two minutes later and the hosts’ appeared to all but end Broncos’ stay in Super League with Currie’s second of the afternoon.
Again exploiting space on their left, it was half back O’Brien who made the break and with teammates queuing up he took Farrar out of the game with a pass inside to Currie, Bridge converted.
With nine minutes of the half remaining Wolves were awarded a scrum just inside the London half, the ball was moved right to Monaghan and the Australian did the rest himself, gliding through Broncos’ line to make it a first half hat-trick. Bridge kicked the extras.
Matty Russell was on hand to halt a Broncos reply late in the half when he beat several attackers to Drinkwater’s grubber inside Wolves’ in-goal area.
Moments later and Russell was again called into action as Wolves’ last line of defence, the fullback covered well to tackle Vea after a neat London break.