Broncos suffer record home defeat as Wolves dominate at Priestfield
Warrington Wolves ran in 15 tries as they overcame the London Broncos in a dominant 82-10 victory at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Simon Grix (3), Michael Monaghan (2), Richard Myler (2), Ryan Atkins (2), Chris Hill, Joel Monaghan, Ben Westwood, Chris Riley, Mick Higham and Stefan Ratchford were all on target for Tony Smith’s side, with Ratchford converting on 10 occasions and Lee Briers with another.
Broncos recorded just two tries and one conversion in total – Kieran Dixon and James Mendeika getting on the score sheet with Michael Witt securing the solitary conversion.
Broncos Head Coach Tony Rea made three changes to the team that drew with Castleford Tigers last weekend. Craig Gower, Shane Rodney and Matt Cook all missed out with Olsi Krasniqi, Dan Sarginson and Kieran Dixon all coming in.
Warrington made just one change to their line-up with Brett Hodgson replacing Trent Waterhouse.
The game got off to a lively start with both sets of players looking to make an early impact on the 3,041 crowd which arrived at Priestfield.
It didn’t take long for them to see their first action of the afternoon with Warrington believing they had scored a try on five minutes.
A loose ball was gathered by Ben Currie and he had the easy task of going over with no Broncos player in sight.
He planted the ball over the line but the referee disallowed it due to an earlier infringement.
A few minutes later Warrington scored another try, and this time it counted. A good passage of play resulted in a strong diagonal run by Chris Hill, and he charged across the line with no problems at all to get the first points on the board.
Despite being just under the posts however, Stefan Ratchford surprisingly missed the resulting conversion to make the score 0-4.
Broncos had to withstand some heavy pressure just five minutes later. The strength of the Warrington forwards was evident as each phased passed, and Currie nearly increased the advantage, but a knock on prevented any addition of the score.
Moments later the Broncos could have levelled it up – Kieran Dixon was spotted on the wing by Michael Witt, and an ensuing kick across the pitch managed to find him. However he couldn’t get the ball under control before it went out of play.
They were made to pay for their missed chance as Joel Monaghan got Warrington’s second try shortly afterwards – he burst through a siege of players and with the pitch eventually clearing in front of him he was able to get across the line and double the lead.
Ratchford made no mistake with his second conversion attempt, and all of a sudden the Broncos found themselves 0-10 behind with 20 minutes gone.
The third try wasn’t far away either with replacement Michael Monaghan scoring from close range with the Broncos defence seemingly collapsing under pressure.
The Warrington dominance only got worse with Richard Myler scoring the fourth just moments after the re-start. Another good spell of play saw the player get half a yard of space, and he used it to full affect as he planted the ball on the try line, and after a brief look from the match referee, awarded the try.
Ratchford converted for the third time in the game to make it 0-22 after 31 minutes. Michael Monaghan thought he had got a second try shortly after, but the referee didn’t deem the ball to have cleared the try line.
He did eventually get a second try to make it 0-26 with Ratchford once more on hand to convert.
With half time approaching the Broncos fans finally had something to shout about. Dixon showing some persistence and determination to score the first points for the hosts, but unfortunately Witt was unable to convert from what was a tight angle.
The first half action soon came to a close with Warrington well on top.
The second half begun as the first did with Wolves well on top, and it didn’t take them long to add to their score. Myler scored his second try before Ratchford’s boot again boosted the score to 4-34.
Ben Westwood was next to get in on the act as he dived over the line for yet another try, but Ratchford was unable to put the ball between the posts and missed just his second conversion of the afternoon.
The score quickly became 4-44 with 28 minutes still to play as Ryan Atkins decided to join in the fun, with Ratchford making up for his missed kick with a fantastic conversion to increase the noise coming from the Wolves fans.
On the 57 minute mark Chris Riley got involved and cleverly avoided a tackle close to the try line to make the score 4-48 to Warrington. Ratchford was to miss his third kick of the afternoon though, his effort going narrowly wide of the posts.
That seemed to spur on the Warrington number 19 and he scampered away from a number of Broncos players to score in the corner. His try may have made up for his second missed kick in succession – however the result a formality at this stage with the Broncos constantly on the back foot.
They did threaten briefly shortly after, but the ball fell nicely for a Warrington interception, and Atkins found himself with no one to beat after being well picked out, and he dived across the try line with Ratchford on hand to convert.
The score at this stage was 4-58 with 17 minutes remaining, but Broncos still had a bit of fight in them and scored their second try of the game on 67 minutes.
James Mendeika completed a fine move in the corner to reduce the deficit, and Witt converted the try well with a difficult kick to get the Broncos in to double figures.
Their positivity was short lived however as Simon Grix drove through the Broncos backs before planting the ball in the corner. This gave Ratchford a difficult kick, but after a prolonged wait he delivered a terrific conversion to make the score 10-64.
Grix made it two tries in the space of a few minutes after taking advantage of some poor defending to sprint across the line before Ratchford converted a similar kick to his previous one to increase the gap to 50 points.
Mick Higham scored another try from close range before Ratchford cleared the Rainham End completely with another conversion to make it 10-76 with just a couple of minutes to go.
However there was still time for Grix to get his hat-trick and Ratchford to convert one final time before the match was brought to an end.
A thoroughly dominant second half display from Warrington secured an impressive win, the Broncos scoring just twice in 80 minutes which will no doubt give Tony Rea and his coaching staff plenty to work on over the next week or so.
Broncos: Sarginson, Robertson, Mendeika, Channing, Dixon, Witt, Dorn, Wheeldon, Fisher, Clubb, Melling, Bailey, Krasniqi.
Replacements: Bryant, Bishay, Kaufusi, Grady.
Warrington: Hodgson, Riley, Atkins, Ratchford, J Monaghan, Briers, Myler, Hill, Higham, Wood, Westwood, Grix, Currie.
Replacements: Morley, M Monaghan, Carvell, McCarthy.