SPIRIT OF '55: Tough run-in enjoys easier start than expected

Albert Naughton, the last Warrington skipper to lift the Championship trophy in 1955

Albert Naughton, the last Warrington skipper to lift the Championship trophy in 1955

First published in Sport Warrington Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports blogger

WIRE’S incredible tough run of fixtures at the end of the season was made a little easier because of Castleford's trip to Wembley the following week resulting in six of their best players being rested.

The opening 20 minutes were remarkably similar to the semi final just the week before, Wire having to defend several sets of six close to their line, once again they did so admirably and prevented their opponents from scoring any tries in this period.

The one big difference from last week was that Wire managed to break away and score two tries from the limited possession that they had in that time.

First Atkins was able to score by chasing a teasing and awkwardly bouncing kick from O'Brien, then the young half back scored himself when he supported on Michael Monaghan's inside after the veteran hooker made one of his vintage breaks.

Bridge barged his way over to create and 18-point lead, before we had some more semi-final deja vu when a suspiciously forward looking long pass resulted in a try for Castleford in the left hand corner.

The Tigers scored first in the second half to reduce the lead to eight points, but it never looked like getting any closer and Wire gradually ran away with the game.

Rhys Evans scored twice, both excellent finishes in the corner, England crashed onto a short ball near the line to burst through some tackles and score near the posts, Ratchford benefitted from a good handling move wide to the right to go over in the corner untouched and then Joel Monaghan popped up in the middle to score his 24th Super League try of the season.

The intensity wasn't as you would expect for a game between two teams in the top five this close to the end of the season, Wire's defensive line speed wasn't at it's best as they seem to take a 'bend but don't break' approach.

They did defend their line exceptionally on several occasions, including when Rhys Evans produced one of the tackles of the season to save what seemed to be a certain try from a long Castleford break.

Castleford fans rightly enjoyed themselves, looking forward to next week and it was good to see their mascot had fully recovered from his traumatic experience at the weekend. Wire now have eyes on another prize.

Comments (4)

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7:50pm Mon 18 Aug 14

realistic southstander says...

The "easier" fixtures ( Widnes & Wakefield ) have come and gone and were beyond us. It is no good moaning about the hard run in. Unless Huddersfield & co do a Castleford and field a reserve team we are looking at a finishing of 6th which is about right for the standard of play on show at the moment.
The "easier" fixtures ( Widnes & Wakefield ) have come and gone and were beyond us. It is no good moaning about the hard run in. Unless Huddersfield & co do a Castleford and field a reserve team we are looking at a finishing of 6th which is about right for the standard of play on show at the moment. realistic southstander
  • Score: 2

9:29am Tue 19 Aug 14

wolfitdown says...

The upcoming Wembley weekend helped as it certainly did for London, yet we know with the Wire they could lift their game against a full Cas team then as easily drop off the following week much to the frustration of the fans leading in part to lower average attendances, it's obvious something is lacking as our completion rates have in the main been poor for most of the season, yet at the weekend Sts apart all the top teams were poor.
You would think that at the very least our last three games will be taken seriously by all four teams concerned, but will they or will they jockey for position for when the real season starts? perhaps as the new formula comes in next season and a top three get to play our Aussie counterparts we may see some more urgency at the top end.
The upcoming Wembley weekend helped as it certainly did for London, yet we know with the Wire they could lift their game against a full Cas team then as easily drop off the following week much to the frustration of the fans leading in part to lower average attendances, it's obvious something is lacking as our completion rates have in the main been poor for most of the season, yet at the weekend Sts apart all the top teams were poor. You would think that at the very least our last three games will be taken seriously by all four teams concerned, but will they or will they jockey for position for when the real season starts? perhaps as the new formula comes in next season and a top three get to play our Aussie counterparts we may see some more urgency at the top end. wolfitdown
  • Score: 3

6:20pm Tue 19 Aug 14

pennstate says...

Wise words wolf, the empty seats are showing more week after week.
The whole RFU issue is beyond me-why go for the Aussie plan next year when our salary caps are so far apart, it could be a disaster for us.
Having Wembley during the tail end of superleague, with two contenders from the top five involved is just rediculous and detrimental to both competitions.
The salary cap punishes winners, so what is the point of community work to increase interest and attendances, to spend it on soft furnishings rather than headline grabbing stars who could raise the profile of the game.
Still think Smith must buy an experienced half back!
Wise words wolf, the empty seats are showing more week after week. The whole RFU issue is beyond me-why go for the Aussie plan next year when our salary caps are so far apart, it could be a disaster for us. Having Wembley during the tail end of superleague, with two contenders from the top five involved is just rediculous and detrimental to both competitions. The salary cap punishes winners, so what is the point of community work to increase interest and attendances, to spend it on soft furnishings rather than headline grabbing stars who could raise the profile of the game. Still think Smith must buy an experienced half back! pennstate
  • Score: 3

3:19pm Wed 20 Aug 14

wolfitdown says...

A half back is a must for the club be it from within or without, I would be over the moon if it was one of our own but somehow can't see where it would come from, we have had some good pairings so far but without the desired X factor, one way or another it has to be sorted.
A half back is a must for the club be it from within or without, I would be over the moon if it was one of our own but somehow can't see where it would come from, we have had some good pairings so far but without the desired X factor, one way or another it has to be sorted. wolfitdown
  • Score: 2

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