Appo runs in hat-trick as Halifax crumble

Halifax 8 Warrington 38
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The Independent Online

Halifax looked every inch relegation favourites as Graham Appo's hat-trick helped Warrington consolidate their place in the top six.

Halifax looked every inch relegation favourites as Graham Appo's hat-trick helped Warrington consolidate their place in the top six.

Coupled with Wakefield's suprise win at St Helens, this defeat leaves Halifax adrift at the foot of the Super League, with their coach, Tony Anderson, admitting: "We tried hard but we weren't good enough. Every team we play seems to be bigger and stronger than us.''

Although they took the lead with an early Dane Dorahy penalty, Halifax had little else to show for a first half in which their defensive frailties were repeatedly exposed.

Michael Wainwright intercepted Dorahy's kick to begin the attack for Warrington's first try and was then there to link up with Jon Clarke for Nathan Wood to score. Paul Wood was then allowed to show some fancy footwork for a prop forward when he took Nick Fozzard's pass to go through some weak tackling.

When Daryl Cardiss failed to claim Lee Briers' high kick and Appo scored in the corner, with Briers adding his second goal, it looked as though a Warrington team on the rise could run riot. They might have done so if their own handling errors had not let Halifax off the hook on several occasions before half-time.

Ian Sibbit's break did the damage that saw Sid Domic go over for the Wolves' fourth try 10 minutes after the interval. Four minutes later, Wainwright exploited a shocking gap on the blind side and Warrington were being allowed to look like genuine play-off contenders.

Halifax had a brief flurry that brought them an excellent try from Cardiss, plus one from Lee Greenwood that was disallowed for offside. Their vulnerability to the long break caught them out again, though, when Domic first threw and Appo scrambled over.

A minute from time, the winger completed his treble when he beat Andrew Frew to Briers' kick for the corner.

It was the first time Warrington had put together back-to-back wins since they fought their way clear of relegation last year. It is Halifax who have that battle to look forward to this time.

Halifax: Cardiss; Frew, Clayton, Donlan, Greenwood; Moana, Dorahy; Hobson, Lawless, Birchall, Cruckshank, Brocklehurst, McMenemy. Substitutes used: Halliwell., Penkywicz, Davidson, Seuseu.

Warrington: Penny; Smyth, Grose, Sibbit, Appo; Briers, N Wood; Fozzard, Clarke, Hilton, Burns, Wainwright, Domic. Substitutes used: Gleeson, P Wood, Stevens, Moone.

Referee: P Taberner (Wigan).

Danny McGuire found the line twice as Leeds enjoyed an emphatic 32-14 victory over London to extend their lead at the top of the table.

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