WARRINGTON RUFC came agonisingly close to ending league leaders Anselmians’ unbeaten record on Saturday.

Trailing 31-11 in the second half, things looked bleak for the hosts until tries from Max Caldwell and Josh Downes put them back within a score.

Unfortunately, they fell short of snatching an improbably victory but their 31-25 loss at Grappenhall Sports Club saw them at least gain a losing bonus point.

“This is a big improvement on our previous encounter with Anselmians,” said Warrington head coach Stuart Beeley, whose side lost the reverse fixture 36-3 in October.

“We are beginning to see the benefits of a more settled and cohesive side.”

Anselmians grabbed the game’s first try before Matt Beeley dummied his way over for the hosts, with JP Hudson later adding a penalty to edge Warrington ahead.

Two more tries for the visitors had them in control at the break despite another Hudson penalty cutting the gap, with a fourth Anselmians try securing them a bonus point.

Despite them having two players yellow-carded, the visitors added another try but Warrington finally kicked into gear when their opponents had two more players sin-binned after the original perpetrators had returned.

Caldwell finished off Dan Abram’s break before skipper Downes touched down between the posts, with Beeley converting both tries.

However, attempts to snatch the victory came to nought as passes went astray.

Warrington’s next North Two West fixture is on Saturday as they travel to St Benedict’s.