Tries stick out on mud bath

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

Warrington 16 Halifax 10

Two spectacular tries on a night ill-suited to expansive play sent Halifax on their way to a fourth consecutive defeat in what is becoming a nightmare start to their life in Super League.

Halifax could not blame summer rugby for last night's episode in their decline. Conditions at Wilderspool were as bad as any last winter, with thick mud, sleet and finger-numbing cold.

It was Warrington who overcame problems that they might have thought were a thing of the past with those two dashing tries within seven minutes of each other in the second half.

The first was a solo from the veteran winger, Mark Forster, who stands out as an odd man out in Warrington's back line these days by not coming from the Southern Hemisphere.

He intercepted Roy Southernwood's pass 10 yards from his own try-line and showed that, even at 31, he still has enough of his old speed left to go the length of the field.

Iestyn Harris, who had landed two penalties in the first half, goaled from the touchline to take Warrington into a six point lead, which was soon improved by another uncharacteristically flowing piece of attacking play on the mud bath.

The Wire's substitute, Chris Rudd, was the architect this time, getting out of two tackles to get his pass away to Richard Henare who showed good pace and cross in the corner.

Halifax came back with a close range try from Wayne Jackson, goaled by Schuster, but a fourth goal from the impressive Harris saw Warrington, who also had two tries disallowed, safely home.

The first half had been something of a treat for anybody hankering after the good old days of in near-impossible conditions. The only try, somewhat against the run of play, came from Halifax's Tongan centre, Asa Amone, who profited from a deft piece of handling from Paul Moriarty.

He flicked on a pass with his fingertips to give Amone time and space to score. Like much else on the night, it was better than the conditions deserved, but that will be little consolation to a Halifax side which started the season with such high hopes and is already adrift of the sides with which they should be competing.

Warrington: Penny; Forster, Kohe-Love, Mafi, Henare; Harris, Shelford; Hilton, Hough, Chambers, Knott, Cullen, Sculthorpe. Substitutes: Rudd, Finau, Barrow, Jones.

Halifax: Umaga; Tuilagi, Schuster, Amone, Ekoku; Moana, Dean; Harrison, Southernwood, W Jackson, Moriarty, Perrett, Baldwin. Substitutes: Highton, Gillespie, Martindale, Rowley.

Referee: S Cummings (Widnes).

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