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FULL TIME, PICTURES ADDED: Warrington Wolves 72 London Broncos 12
Updated 7:09pm Sunday 13th July 2014 in Sport
A RELENTLESS Warrington Wolves took no mercy on London Broncos at The Halliwell Jones Stadium as they romped to a victory that ended the visitors’ stay in Super League.
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 knew a loss would resign them to Championship rugby league next season, but they 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 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.
London started the second-half looking to salvage something from the game and boost hopes of survival for another week at least, but their early pressure came to an end when Jon Wallace was held up between the sticks.
With the ball back in hand Wolves made their visitors pay for not taking their early chance.
With six minutes played after the interval Monaghan did well to keep Bridge’s chip kick alive after the bounce nearly beat him.
He fed Russell, who showed off his football skills with a perfectly weighted grubber into the path of Currie and the forward dived over for his hat-trick, goaled by Bridge.
Broncos were enjoying more time in Wolves’ half after the interval, and were able to narrow the deficit slightly after a patient build up eventually allowed Moore to crash through the home defence. Drinkwater’s conversion crept over after rattling the upright.
Bridge released a clever offload to Monaghan, who beat several tacklers to put Wolves deep in the London half.
From the play-the-ball Brad Dwyer weaved his way through and when he was stopped short attempted an overhead pass to Evans, but it was intercepted.
But with 17 minutes of the second half played perhaps the loudest cheer of the day rang out around The Halliwell Jones Stadium.
On his return from a lengthy lay-off with a bicep injury, Wood took a pass at speed from O’Brien and marked his comeback with a try. Bridge, battling with the wind, pulled his kick wide.
Then, approaching the hour, it was Ormsby’s turn to cross. Monaghan fed the 21-year-old on the right wing and Ormsby turned on the gas to dart more than 40 metres and cross besides the posts.
Bridge enlisted the help of O’Brien to stop the wind disrupting his conversion attempts and added the two points.
On 62 minutes the hosts breached the 50-point mark as their relentless attacking rugby continued.
Higham picked up from dummy half and span a pass to Hill, with the 26-year-old proving unstoppable from 10 metres to add his second of the day. Bridge converted.
Monaghan added his fourth six minutes later when Higham and Wood combined to pop the ball on to the onrushing Australian and he grounded from close range, leaving Bridge a simple conversion.
The Wolves onslaught continued and moments after Monaghan’s fourth score they were pressurising the Broncos line again, but youngster Joe Philbin was denied his first try in primrose and blue when held up short of the line.
With three minutes left on the clock Higham was again the provider for another Wolves score with the hooker this time feeding Harrison, who went between the sticks for Bridge to goal.
A superb Toby King break almost gave Monaghan his fifth, but when he was stopped short it was up to Hill to add his third of the day and see Wolves his the 70-point mark. Bridge converted.