Briers backs up GB Test claims

Warrington 50 London 8
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Lee Briers helped himself to 26 points against an inept London yesterday in another display that begged the question of why he cannot get anywhere near the Great Britain squad.

Briers was one of a number of outstanding performers as the Wolves drew level with Castleford in sixth place in Super League on the same points difference. The game was already long decided when he claimed Warrington's last try to go with his earlier effort and his nine goals, but he also played a crucial part in much of the other damage they inflicted on the woeful Broncos.

Briers again shone by comparison with a player who is in David Waite's international plans, in this case the Broncos' Chris Thorman. "He's answered an awful lot of questions in a fortnight,'' said the Warrington coach, Paul Cullen. "He's a man on a mission.''

This was a game that swung Briers and Warrington's way in the first few seconds. From the kick-off, London flung the ball across field with an enterprise that suggested they were in the mood, but Bill Pedem allowed himself to be taken into touch and it was, as his coach, Tony Rea, admitted, "all downhill from there''.

That first taste of possession ended with Darren Burns strolling through for Warrington's first try, followed by London's only bright moment of the half, a Thorman penalty after Dennis Moran's break.

The rest of the half was a story of dismal London defence and clinical Warrington finishing, starting with Jerome Guisset's try from Jon Clarke's short pass.

Briers then scored his first, thanks to Nathan Wood's weaving run and floating pass before a ball lost through a foolish pass by Steele Retchless saw Wood set up Ian Sibbit. Rob Smyth scored tries on either side of half-time, with the approach work coming from Briers and Brent Grose, and with the first seven of Briers's goals also on the scoreboard the game was already won.

The punishment continued for London, however, with Briers's chip over the defensive line regathered by Grose for Burns to claim his second before Briers himself rounded things off.

At that late stage of a drainingly hot afternoon, Warrington more or less declared. Cullen admitted to some slight disappointment that they allowed Pedem to score London's only try in the last minute, but this had been a job well done.

''I don't think it was about us today,'' Rea said. "We saw a very good Warrington performance. It was their day and they played very well and they made us play very badly.''

The London coach refused to blame the mounting speculation over whether players such as Thorman and Moran will still be with the club next season for the inadequacies of this display.

This was their first away defeat since they were hammered at St Helens and they will have to improve sharply if they are to sustain their own hopes of making the top six.

Warrington: Appo; Smyth, Grose, Sibbit, Gaskell; Briers, N Wood; P Wood, Clarke, Guisset, Burns, Noone, Domic. Substitutes used: Gleeson, Westwood, Stevens, Fozzard.

London: Moran; Sykes, Roy, King, Hall; Purdham, Thorman; Bawden, Budworth, Retchless, Netherton, Peden, Dymock. Substitutes used: Jackson, Stephenson, Marshall, Gallagher.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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