CHRIS Riley is keen to keep his name at the top of The Halliwell Jones Stadium try-scoring list for another year.
The 25-year-old winger topped a recent Guardian list of Warrington Wolves’ home try scorers as the club celebrates its 10th year at the stadium, though the Warrington-born Academy graduate is well aware of Joel Monaghan breathing down his neck after a much shorter spell in primrose and blue.
“Obviously I am very proud of that. I was sent a picture of the table by a friend when I was in Australia and I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“I am a local lad and for a Warrington lad to be top of that table is something I take great pride in.
“There are some great names on that list and Joel is on my heels, so I just need to bang a few tries in at home this year and try and keep him from taking that.”
Key to the success of that plan will be Riley’s continued partnership with left centre Ryan Atkins, a combination that has yielded some fairly impressive scoring rates since Atkins’ arrival from Wakefield in 2010.
Even during their least productive years, 2013 and 2011, the pair combined for 39 tries between them, while at their best in 2012 the pair recorded 56 tries combined.
That is more than half of what the entire Widnes Vikings squad managed in the same year.
Injuries played their part in 2013 being something of a disrupted season for Wolves’ left flank attacking duo, so Riley – who has himself undergone pre-season rehab for shoulder surgery to fix a tear in his labrum – hopes they can both benefit from a bit more consistency this year.
“We had so many combinations on that side in 2013, with Ryan and Richie Myler getting injured, so it was hard for me to get that momentum of form going,” he said.
“You do get comfortable playing outside of the same players. I have played outside of Ryan for some time now - I know how he plays and where I need to be and vice versa.
“It has been a profitable partnership for both of us and it just shows how potent we can be if we’re both in good form.
“I am sure, now that we are both fully fit going into the season, that we can get that going again and get back to what we do best, which is tearing some defences apart and scoring tries.”