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Four Pointers: Widnes 16-48 Warrington

Widnes Conceding Soft Tries

For one of the biggest derbies in rugby league, it certainly didn’t feel like one on Friday. The distinct lack of effort in both attack and defence by Widnes was unfathomable. And to think, after going on a four-match streak without victory in the league, and to have a chance to end your fruitless run with a win over your fiercest rivals, surely you would expect a galvanised performance, something for the fans to shout about. You couldn’t have been more wrong.

Five of Warrington’s eight tries against Widnes came down the middle, with two forwards claiming three tries between them. Joe Westerman’s brace and Ben Westwood’s try were soft as you like – simple drives in, forcing their way over the line with a bit of added strength to get them there. Defending like that is basic stuff and to concede five tries in that manner epitomised Widnes’ recent slump in form.

Very Few Widnes Positives

I have to be careful with what I say here, because I’m about to talk about the positives of a home thrashing to your fiercest rivals – it would seem there were none.

Half-back Joe Mellor was, once again, the hardest worker out on the pitch for the Vikings last night. Time after time, he was there tackling, putting 100% into both attack and defence. In the end, he got his just deserts with a fortuitous try during the first half – a high bomb was spilled by Warrington and Mellor was first to react to the loose ball.

It’s just a shame none of the other sixteen players out there in black and white showed the same kind of effort. Widnes might just have got somewhere.

No Sandow, No Problem

This is the first game in which Warrington have shone without star half-back Chris Sandow. In the Wolves’ last two games before the derby, they have missed the Australian. But up stepped the rest of the squad, namely Kurt Gidley, Stefan Ratchford and Warrington’s impressive back row.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – Warrington are one of the few teams that show strength in depth. But real strength. Ben Currie, the league’s highest scoring forward, didn’t have much of a say in proceedings last night, but it didn’t matter. The England prospect has ten tries to his name so far this season, but the game was bossed instead by Joe Westerman and Ben Westwood.

Warrington Back to the Top

Warrington reclaimed top spot in the Super League with the convincing result over Widnes, and if they can continue to play in the same manner for the remainder of Sandow’s absence, they will have no problems staying up there.

 

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