Warrington 96 St Benedicts 3

AFTER watching his Warrington side pile on the points, Andy Roberts gave “all respect” to depleted opponents St Benedicts for playing on despite the prospect of “a drumming.”

The Cumbrians arrived at Walton Lea Road with just 12 players due to a breakdown on the M6 and the hosts took advantage to lead 75-0 at the break.

Warrington took the decision to remove three of their players at half time to even up the contest, but were still able to take their tally of tries up to 14 before the referee brought an early end to proceedings.

Kieran Hughes scored four tries and Tom Arnold bagged a hat-trick, while Josh Downes and Nathan Beesley scored two each as Steve Pilkington, Phil Lynch, Max Caldwell also joined the procession.

“In the pre-league days, we would probably have evened up the sides to make a game of it,” Roberts said.

“Today, it is all about league points and league position.

“However, all respect the St Benedicts lads who still put on their shirts and played even though they knew they were in for a drumming.”

Downes bludgeoned over to begin the scoring early on before Pilkington got on the end of Arnold’s beautiful cross-field kick to cross himself.

Arnold then opened his account and the four-try bonus point was wrapped up when Lynch finished off a surging run from Downes.

St Benedicts were brave and exerted some pressure of their own, but two quick tries from Beesley and one from Caldwell put an end to their resistance.

Hughes then took over before the break before the sides were evened up, with the visitors slotting a penalty to ensure they did not finish the game scoreless.

Warrington swiftly got back to work, though, and Arnold crossed twice in quick succession to complete his treble.

There was still time for Downes to double his tally before the game was ended early to avoid prolonging St Benedicts’ misery.

The crushing win lifts Warrington up to sixth in the North One West, with their next game being a trip to Stockport on Saturday, March 24.