Kohe-Love tackle brings inspiration for Warrington

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The Independent Online

A vastly improved second-half showing, triggered by the sort of tackle that not only saves tries but save matches, saw Warrington keep their noses in front of Salford in the middle reaches of Super League yesterday.

A vastly improved second-half showing, triggered by the sort of tackle that not only saves tries but save matches, saw Warrington keep their noses in front of Salford in the middle reaches of Super League yesterday.

Salford, who unlike their opponents have exceeded most expectations this season, stood to go 14 points clear soon after the break but for Toa Kohe-Love stopping the much bigger Paul Southern in full flight.

"To pull him back off the line was a great tackle," said the Warrington coach, Darryl van de Velde. "It was a huge turning point.

Salford have benefited from Darren Brown's versatility at stand-off and in the back-row over the last two seasons, but he thrived in the unfamiliar position of scrum-half at Wilderspool.

Twice in the first half the Australian got himself into the right place to aim crafty kicks down Warrington's vulnerable right flank. On both occasions, the ball sat up perfectly to create tries for Nick Pinkney and Jason Webber.

In between, another kick, this time from Steve Blakeley, produced a try as well, Salford palming the ball back for the South African winger, Mark Johnson, to score.

Warrington were a clear second best in the first half, but they did level through Paul Noone after moving the ball from the scrum base and hit back after Johnson's try, when Lee Briers' low kick came back off Jim Smith for Steve McCurrie to touch down.

Briers landed one conversion, but Blakeley, back at Warrington after an unhappy spell with the club earlier this season, was flawless for Salford, his three kicks giving them a well-earned eight-point lead at half-time.

The game could have gone beyond Warrington but for Kohe-Love's heroics. As if to underline the value of his tackle, play went immediately to the other end, where the trend of neither side being able to defend against kicks continued. There was chaos again when Briers put the ball into the in-goal area and Andrew Gee swooped for the try which, with Briers' conversion, put Warrington just two points behind.

They hit the front just after the hour, McCurrie getting his pass away to Kohe-Love, who reached out an arm to plant the ball over the line.

Warrington completed their recovery when Briers chipped ahead, re-gathered to feed Allan Langer and then saw McCurrie plunge over for his second try.

The ease of their victory was somewhat overstated when Ian Knott sent Lee Penny over with two minutes remaining.

The Salford coach John Harvey praised his depleted side, saying "I can't criticise my players for their effort", and but for Kohe-Love's tackle his side could have been celebrating their first away victory in eight attempts.

Warrington Wolves: Penny; Smyth, Kohe-Love, Hunte, Cowell; Briers, Langer; Gee, Farrar, Hilton, McCurrie, Noone, Nikau. Substitutes used: Knott, Peters, Busby, Guisset.

Salford City Reds: Broadbent; Pinkney, Webber, Littler, Johnson; Blakeley, Brown; Baynes, Alker, Southern, Smith, Highton, Wainwright. Substitutes used: Svabic, Lee, Leigh.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).

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