SPIRIT OF 55: Determination pays off

Albert Naughton, the last Warrington captain to lift the championship title, in 1955

Albert Naughton, the last Warrington captain to lift the championship title, in 1955

First published in Wolves news

FROM the outset Wire looked determined to get their first win of the season and played with an air of confidence that was missing in the first two games.

In the end they needed all that determination to gain a victory in a tight game that didn’t allow that confident vibe to flourish.

They started with an impressive amount of energy in attack, a simple, well executed style allowing them to gain plenty of ground.

A big improvement from the first two weeks was the kicking game, especially in attacking situations, with O’Brien and Myler sharing the responsibility of causing problems for Hull with a combination of high bombs and delicate grubber kicks that helped build pressure and create two of the three tries.

Ratchford gave the fast start the reward it deserved when he gathered one of those grubber kicks from Myler and was able to easily jink over the line under the posts. Thoughts of a runaway victory had to be shelved quickly as Hull soon took their turn to spend some time near the opposition try line, which resulted in Houghton being able to burrow over from close range to level the scores at 6-6.

Wire looked the better side for the rest of the first half, regaining the lead when Waterhouse timed his run onto a pass from Higham to perfection to crash over. Ratchford then made a brilliant break from near his own line when returning a kick, which resulted in his opposite full back Shaul being sin-binned for holding him down after halting the 60-yard run.

Next it was Ben Evans’ turn to score from chasing a grubber kick, this time from O’Brien.

A minute or so before half time Ratchford kicked a penalty from around 35-yards out, to extend the lead to 12 points.

It turned out to be a decisive kick.

Wire just about maintained their standards in the second half, but Hull raised theirs.

Lineham squeezed over in the corner with 20 minutes to go after some slick handling. Then with just three minutes left Talanoa scored in the opposite corner and the successful conversion closed the gap to two points, setting up a nervy final few moments.

Fortunately Wire hung on without any great alarms, sometimes the first win can be the toughest.

The overall spirit and togetherness on show was much better than against Saints, so it should be the first of many this season.

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