Warrington beat the heat to keep title chase alive

Warrington 26

London 14
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The Independent Online

Paul Cullen, the home coach, was delighted. "It was a performance of great character," he said. "London are a very good side - they have great feet and the ability to win the collisions.

"Those qualities tested us to breaking point in the heat but we came out on top. There are areas where we need to improve but I am delighted with the win. We showed great patience and an immense amount of energy."

Though London's seven-match unbeaten Super League run came to an end they return to Griffin Park next Sunday after a two-month break for ground improvements in good heart for their own play-off push.

"The two months could have broken us but we have showed what a strong organisation we are," said the London coach, Tony Rea. "The attitude was fine today and I am disappointed we didn't do the job."

Warrington had match-winners in their outstanding Australian full-back Brent Grose and the right-wing pairing of Martin Gleeson and Henry Fa'afili. Gleeson scored Warrington's opening try after following up his own kick to score, but though Dean Gaskell added a second on the opposite flank, the home side struggled for fluency in the continued absence of their injured captain, Lee Briers.

London were two points behind at the interval after Nick Bradley-Qalilawa added to Paul Sykes' penalty with a try. And the Broncos survived Sykes' period in the sin-bin to level the scores when Rob Purdham kicked a long-range penalty.

But tries by Fa'afili and Grose midway through the second half took Warrington clear. They then dealt with a yellow card for Jon Clarke and the concession of a try to Lee Hopkins to clinch the game with a last-minute Fa'afili try from Chris Bridge's kick.

Warrington: Grose; Fa'afili, Martin Gleeson, Westwood, Gaskell; Bridge, N Wood; Leikvoll, Clarke, Hilton, Swann, Wainwright, Noone. Substitutes used: Appo, Mark Gleeson, P Wood, Lima.

London: Sykes; Bradley-Qalilawa, O'Halloran, Smith, Wells; McLinden, Leuluai; Trindall, Highton, Armour, Haumono, Hopkins, Purdham. Substitutes used: Williams, Tookey, Lolohea, Mateo.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

l Hull KR beat Castleford 18-16 in a thrilling Northern Rail Cup final in front of a capacity 9,400 crowd at Blackpool's Bloomfield Road. Rovers, beaten in two of the three previous National League Cup finals, came back from 10-2 down at the break.

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