Rugby League: Warrington walloped

Warrington 22 Penrith 52
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The Independent Online
It is mark of how low local expectations had sunk in the World Club Championship that the fight Warrington showed after falling hopelessly behind to Penrith should look like a major British triumph.

Canberra's record of 70 points against Halifax last week was looking vulnerable when the Panthers went into a 28-0 lead in as many minutes. Robbie Beckett and Ryan Girdler were cutting Warrington open at will, with two tries apiece, and when Jody Gall also scored the outlook was grim indeed.

But Warrington, unlike some other English sides in this lop-sided competition, at least showed some resilience with tries before half-time from their substitute, Shaun Geritas, and from Mark Forster.

Warrington mounted sustained pressure at the start of the second half that had Penrith scrambling in defence. When Paul Sculthorpe and Geritas linked to squeeze Toa Kohe-Love in at the corner, respectability beckoned for a team that has been one of European Super League's more pitiful cases of late.

But then Penrith roused themselves once more and merely had to accept what was on offer to reassert their superiority. Their winger, Andrew Hinson, scored when Kelly Shelford's pass went to ground, Girdler completed his hat-trick from Steve Carter's long pass and Danny Ferrar capitalised on Warren Stevens' dropped ball.

Willie Swann got another for the home side, but, even with Girdler in the sin-bin for deliberate offside after completing a match total of 26 points, Penrith finished off the job with a try started and completed by Darren Brown.

They played "Rule Britannia" at the end; if Britannia had not exactly ruled the waves, she had at least created a few minor ripples and that, in the current context, is the cue for a celebration.

Warrington: Rodd; Roper, Finau, Vagana, Forster; Shelford, Briers, Chambers, Swann, Stevens, Mann, Patupu, Sculthorpe. Substitutes: Thorniley, Veritas, Kohe-Love.

Penrith: Jorgensen, Beckett, Domic, Girdler, Hinson, Carter, Gower, McNamara, Farrar, Adomson, Gall, MacGillivray, Brown. Substitutes: Boyd, Alexander, Thompson, Drew.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).

n The former Widnes and Leeds player Alan Tait will play for Scotland against France in Glasgow on 9 July. Tait is currently on tour in South Africa with the British Lions, but is keen to return to league for the one game.

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