Warrington 30 Northwich 7

WARRINGTON coach Andy Roberts said his men played Saturday's treacherous conditions right as they put themselves within sight of the top two in rugby union's North One West.

The Walton Lead Road outfit will start 2019 at Burnage in sixth spot, only five points adrift of second-placed Stockport.

They finished Saturday's game with only 13 men but by the time Jack Hannon was sent off and Sean Callander yellow-carded the win was in the bag.

"These were extremely difficult conditions for the lads and dictated that we play more of a forward game than we usually do," said Roberts.

In freezing wet weather, Warrington ended Northwich's run of seven consecutive victories with one of their best displays of term.

But there was no champagne rugby. This was a victory of pragmatism, clinical execution of the tactics dictated by the conditions.

To this end, Roberts added: "We are fortunate to have had our front row squad strengthened by the arrival of new recruit Nick Povey and the return of Tom Green from Guatamala, where he has been getting the local youth involved in rugby league."

Warrington kept Northwich scoreless after the first minute and established a 17-7 lead by the break.

Forward drives led to skipper Downes crashing over twice, sandwiching an effort from winger Max Caldwell after Northwich were reduced to 13 men through yellow cards for dissent and persistent fouling.

A Norman penalty for a high tackle saw Warrington extend their lead at the start of the second half before a wind-assisted try put the hosts out of reach.

Norman was marginally wide with a penalty attempt but the subsequent 22 drop-out proved disastrous for Northwich as the ball, kicked high into the gale, was blown backwards over the Northwich try line and pounced on by the ever-alert Josh Riley. Norman again added the extras 27-7.

The scoring was completed when stand-off Tom Wood dropped a goal from 35 metres out.

With 10 minutes to go exception was taken to a tackle by winger Caldwell.

The referee was unperturbed by this initial incident but did take exception to a retaliatory punch by Hannon (red card) and a high tackle by Callander (yellow) shortly afterwards.

Warrington Vets 22 Moore Select 12

WARRINGTON came out on top of a hastily arranged fixture that provided a feast of entertainment.

Moore stepped in at the 11th hour to ensure a game would be played but with the late notice they arrived needing a few players.

In true rugby spirit, Turner, Morgan, Yeadon and Stevenson all pulled on the Moore jersey and gave a decent account of themselves.

Rocky Turner, in particular, was a thorn in the Warrington side all game.

It was apparent from the start that the brutal conditions were going to play a huge part as cold fingers and a slippery ball meant there were numerous knock-ons.

In the 23rd minute some intricate, convoluted tomfoolery from Matt Drinkwater and Millington released Josh Little from the unfamiliar position of full back.

He scythed through the gap to stretch his legs and scorch home from 50 metres.

The next score was all about the old adage forwards do all the work, the backs get all the glory.

After some terrific drives and ball retention, Warrington were in the centre of the park 10 metres off the line, then in a flash the ball found its way to Millington, who powered over for 10-0.

Moore struck back almost instantly with a great breakaway try in the corner.

The conversion was made, albeit with the help of the crossbar, to make the score 10-7 at half time.

The second half started very much as the first ended, with some strong play from Moore which kept Warrington in their 22, some resolute defence, some strong carries from Peter Holce, and some pressure-relieving kicks from the educated boot of Drinkwater.

After the initial onslaughts from Moore, Warrington found themselves inside the Moore 22 and, from the lineout Harry Kellett popped up on the short side to outpace the defence and stride over untouched.

With the light and bodies fading rapidly, Warrington started to lose players to injuries.

All this made the last quarter of the game a little disjointed but despite that there were more tries, the first for Moore after a speculative kick down field.

The final score was one of the best team tries of the day.

Phase after phase, Warrington steadily made progress up field then, after a probing dart and some sublime interplay in the backs, the ball found its way back into Drinkwater’s hands and the 22 yards left to the line seemed to be too far when the Moore number 10 caught up with him just short of the line only for Drinkwater to demonstrate the hand-off of his career and stride over to score.