IT has been a long time since Warrington Wolves scored 40 points or more in a game – April of last year to be exact.

With that in mind, this was a welcome continuation of the promise that was shown at Hull FC just before coronavirus ground the season to a shuddering halt.

In many ways, this was very similar to that cold night in March – aside from it being August and playing in front of nobody but a select few members of the media and a lot of cardboard cut-outs.

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All pictures by Mike Boden

The Wire were gifted field position aplenty in the first half but left a few points out there once they had got over the nightmare start of allowing Ben Crooks to cross inside the first minute.

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Their attack wasn’t quite hitting its straps – plenty will say that is nothing new but the ring rust of no game for 149 days has to be taken into account.

Tom Lineham’s first try, though, gave signs of what they could do after a beautifully worked move involving Gareth Widdop and Ben Currie.

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Tom Lineham scores The Wire's first try. Picture by Mike Boden

Warrington Guardian:

Tony Smith said after the game that he felt his Rovers side were unfortunate to go in behind and he may have a point.

They broke the Wire line numerous times but a combination of poor execution and some excellent defence – particularly Stefan Ratchford’s try-saving tackle on the stroke of half-time – stopped them adding to their lead.

They had to be made to pay and in the second half, they were.

> Re-live the action as it happened

There was a lot more speed about The Wire’s play as they cashed in on the platform they had ground out in the first half.

Ratchford was irrepressible at full-back and a try was the least his efforts deserved while the Blake Austin-Gareth Widdop axis gathers yet more momentum.

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Stefan Ratchford gallops over to score. Picture by Mike Boden

Widdop’s try was the kind to make a coach smile – straight from the training ground via a cute inside ball from Mike Cooper to send Ratchford storming through the line.

> Watch the match highlights

Anthony Gelling rebounded strongly after a horror start to the game.

It was him who was not alert to the short kick-off which led to Crooks’ opener and the dangerous lift that saw him sin-binned may well be scrutinised further by the Match Review Panel.

However, he carried the ball with enthusiasm, showed the slight of hand we know he has to set up Josh Charnley and touched down impressively himself when a try looked unlikely.

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Anthony Gelling touches down with his fingertips. Picture by Mike Boden

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There is still plenty to work on and they will know it, but a 30-point margin of victory for the first game back is not to be sniffed at.

As platforms go, it is not a bad one upon which to build.

> Pictures of fans cheering on Wire from homes and pubs

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Gareth Widdop evades Adam Quinlan and Matt Parcell and then celebrates his try with teammates. Pictures by Mike Boden

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. The first time Wolves have scored 40 points or more in a match since beating Huddersfield 50-19 in April 2019

. Sitaleki Akauola scores his first try of the season

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:


Super League, Round Eight

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Warrington Wolves...40 Hull KR...10

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Anthony Gelling, Toby King, Tom Lineham; Blake Austin, Gareth Widdop; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Jason Clark. Subs: Joe Philbin, Sitaleki Akauola, Danny Walker, Matty Ashton

Rovers: Adam Quinlan; Will Dagger, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Kane Linnett, Ben Crooks; Ryan Brierley, Jamie Ellis; Nathaniel Peteru, Matt Parcell, George Lawler, Matthew Gee, Weller Hauraki, Dean Hadley. Subs: Elliot Minchella, Daniel Murray, Kyle Trout, Mitch Garbutt

Scoring: Crooks try, 1min, 0-4; Lineham try, 23mins, Ratchford goal, 6-4; Akauola try, 35mins, Ratchford goal, 12-4; Gelling try, 45mins, 16-4; Charnley try, 53mins, Ratchford goal, 22-4; Widdop try, 62mins, Ratchford goal, 28-4; Ratchford try, 69mins, Ratchford goal, 34-4; Quinlan try, 76mins, Brierley goal, 34-10; Lineham try, 80mins, Widdop goal, 40-10

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Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Tom Lineham's second try and his celebrations. Pictures: Mike Boden

Penalties: Wolves 4 Rovers 6

Sin bin: Gelling (12mins, dangerous tackle), Kenny-Dowall (15mins, professional foul)

Referee: James Child