Big Jubilee Lunch

Wolves 80 minutes from Wembley

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WARRINGTON Wolves are just 80 minutes away from a return trip to Wembley after a hard fought 22-26 Challenge Cup quarter-final victory at Bradford Bulls.
The Wolves looked to be coasting to the semis as they raced into a 12-0 lead within 14 minutes thanks to great work by Lee Briers who scored after just three minutes before sending Ryan Atkins over on 14 minutes.
With Chris Bridge on target with both, Warrington looked in total control and although they never lost the lead a relieved Head of Coaching Tony Smith admitted his team had made “hard work” of their victory.
“We made hard work of it today and Bradford wouldn’t lie down and kept coming at us. All credit to both teams for some entertaining rugby and we always knew it was going to be a close game.”
Warrington are now just 80 minutes away from a return trip to Wembley and will face either Leeds, St Helens or Catalan Dragons in the semi-final draw to be made on Wednesday.
Warrington knew they were in for a tough game as Bradford pegged them back to just two points thanks to tries from Ricky Sherrife on 20 mintes and Dave Halley on 29 minutes, with Paul Sykes adding one conversion.
A great break by man-of-the-match Michael Monaghan sent Vinne Anderson scampering over after 33 minutes to make it 10-18 but within a minute from the kick off the Bulls were back in the game as the Wolves allowed the ball to bounce into touch.
Chris Nero went over from the resulting scrum and Syke’s conversion made it 16-18 at the break.
Within two minutes of the re-start Warrington extended their lead as quick hands from Richie Mathers sent Chris Hicks in at the corner. Bridge was wide with the conversion leaving Warrington with just a six point advantage.
Defences remained on top until the 63rd minute when an inch perfect kick from Monaghan saw Hicks get finger tip control to touchdown wide out. Bridge was again wide but the Wolves had some breathing space.
But their 10 point lead was soon reduced to four as they fumbled from the re-start allowing Menzies to reach out and score with Sykes adding the extras.
It was then a nail biting final 14 minutes for the large Warrington following as the Wolves just managed to hang on.

Pictures show Chris Hicks using finger tip control to score in the corner, Lee Briers opening the scoring and the large Wolves following rejoicing at the final hooter.
For more pictures from the game CLICK HERE


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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