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Debutant Charnley at the double as Wolves make it three in a row

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Pictures Eddie Whitham

JOSH Charnley scored a brace of tries on his debut as Warrington Wolves recorded an 11th straight win over Widnes.

A strong second half performance saw the Wolves over turn a half time deficit to win 32-18 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Former Wigan winger Charnley, recently signed from Sale Sharks rugby union, scored two of Warrington’s four tries after the break to earn a third straight win.

Despite kicking-off, Warrington would have the first five sets of possession after Ed Chamberlain took the kick-off dead.

That, coupled with Widnes errors and a few penalties, meant for the first five minutes the Wolves were camped in the Widnes half, but weren’t able to find a way through.

The closest they came was when Ben Westwood thought he had done enough to get over the line, but he was held up short and in trying to get over the whitewash, lost the ball.

Buoyed by their stern defensive effort, Widnes would get the first points of the game, they shifted left via Rhys Hanbury and Ed Chamberlain crossed in the left corner.

Chamberlain would add his second on 25 minutes, this time off an out-the-back-door offload by Charly Runciman and the Vikings were 10-0 to the good.

But after Widnes had failed to retrieve a short drop-out, a superb offload by Tyrone Roberts helped get the hosts on the board, Toby King the beneficiary.

And King would add his, and Warrington’s, second try barely two minutes later as he claimed Kevin Brown’s kick to level the scores.

Widnes would hold the lead at the interval though, Krisnan Inu banging over a penalty from all of 40 metres.

But the Wolves got off to the perfect start in the second half, seemingly pinned back by a good defensive set, a high kick was allowed to bounce by Widnes on their 30 metre line and that allowed Warrington to retrieve the ball and find space out right for Charnley to cross right on the corner flag.

Warrington had their tails up and should perhaps have scored when Brown spilled an offload off a break.

They did get over again on 55 minutes and once again it was poor kick defence by Widnes, who initially charged down Brown’s kick, only to then spill the follow up kick, enabling Sitaleki Akauola to take advantage of some broken defence, Bryson Goodwin converting for 22-12.

The game was now Warrington’s to lose and they tightened their grip when Charnley crossed for his second and by 68 minutes, it was well and truly game over as Ben Westwood coasted through to score under the sticks for 32-12.

Widnes would get a late score through Hanbury but it was Warrington’s day and a boost before the Easter Monday trip to Castleford.

Warrington: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, T King, Charnley, K Brown, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Westwood. Subs: Philbin, Murdoch-Masila, Akauola, Smith.

Widnes: Hanbury, Marsh, Inu, Runciman, Chamberlain, Mellor, Gilmore, T Chapelhow, Heremaia, Burke, Dean, Wilde, Houston. Subs: Johnstone, Olbison, B Walker, Dudson.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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