Holroyd exposes the gaps

Warrington 10 Leeds 30
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The Independent Online
BOTH Alex Murphy and John Dorahy were realistic enough to admit after victory in their first match in charge last week that there is a long way to go at Warrington before they are a force in the game again.

Yesterday, in the pair's second game, their team proved their point for them, some woeful defence making it an afternoon of easy pickings for Leeds in this Silk Cut Challenge Cup fifth- round tie.

Leeds, in search of a third successive Wembley appearance, deserve some credit for putting a difficult last couple of weeks to one side and producing a sound and steady performance. But they were helped enormously by some shocking naivety from Warrington whenever they came under serious pressure.

There was no better demonstration of that than the first two Leeds tries, scored within four minutes of each other during the first quarter of the match, thanks to some paper-thin defence on the right flank. Craig Innes, who is set to leave for the Australian club Manly when Leeds' Cup run comes to an end, showed how much he will be missed by scoring the first of those tries and setting up the other.

Warrington never fully recovered. They were ponderous in attack as well as fallible in defence. "It hasn't changed my view of things," Murphy insisted. "I knew there was a lot of work to be done here." They twice threatened to get back into the game, but on both occasions the threat proved empty, as they lacked the substance to back it up.

Mike Ford's angled kick created a try for Kelly Shelford to give them a measure of hope but, before half-time, Leeds were firmly in control once more. Graham Holroyd's kick-through caught Warrington dozing and Carl Hall dived over for his second try of the half.

A minute into the second half and Leeds were further ahead, their man of the match, Harvey Howard, using his strength to rip through some ineffectual tackling. Salesi Finau, Warrington's best back, somehow managed to get between three Leeds defenders to take Ford's high kick and touch down, but there was nothing more to come from the home side.

"Leeds played like they wanted to make sure they got paid," Dorahy said, in a mischievous reference to straitened finances at Headingley.

Leeds at least earned their pay, although they also continued to receive free gifts from their hosts, especially when a mistimed move saw the Warrington defence freeze to allow Holroyd to cruise through yet another gaping hole to the try-line. Francis Cummins, another of their successes at full-back, rounded off the try-scoring, with Holroyd adding his third goal.

The honeymoon is over for Murphy and Dorahy and, after a week off, the hard work of knocking Warrington into shape will begin. That work goes on at Leeds, as well, although they at least looked like they wanted to make progress.

Warrington: Penny; Forster, Rudd, Finau, Currier; Harris, Ford; Jones, Hough, Hilton (Wainwright, 51), Cullen, Sculforthe, Shelford. Substitute not used: Barrow.

Leeds: Cummins; Fallon, Innes, Hall, Hassan (Gibbons, 53); Kemp (Schultz, 23), Holroyd; Harmon, Shaw, Howard, Mann, Morley, Forshaw (Hassan, 68).

Referee: C Morris (Huddersfield).

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