Magic Millie inspires Wire victory


STAND-OFF Millie Bell inspired the Warrington Wolves to their third win of the BetFred Super League season against a determined Featherstone Rovers side at the Millennium Stadium.

It was her superb crash ball to Sammi Simpson on the halfway line that saw the centre power through the home defence to score the winning try midway through the second half.
Up to that point the match had been nip and took, with Rovers twice taking the lead and going into the half-time break 10-4 ahead. However, the result could have been so much more convincing if winger Lauren Ellison hadn’t had a hat-trick of tries disallowed for forward passes in the build-up.
And if Featherstone-born Bell provided the finesse, it was the forwards who laid the platform in what were – at times – appalling conditions, with Abi Latchford, Emily Baggaley, Emily Downes and Lucy Johnson, from the bench, making useful yards in attack and standing firm in defence.

Sammi Simpson try

Head coach Armani Sharrock was forced to reshuffle the spine of her team through injuries and absentees, with hooker Louise Fellingham coming in at scrum half to allow Charlie Magraw to drop to full back, and teenager Jasmine Wilson filling in at number 9. Albany Coates and Ellison also came in on the wings.
And, after a torrential downpour just before kick-off, it was the conditions that dictated the early exchanges, with Wire prop Grace Burnett knocking the kick-off on then fierce defence from the scrum forcing a mistake from Rovers’ centre Chloe Billington.
Discipline was also an issue as first Wire were penalised for holding down in the tackle, then moments later Magraw was pulled for dissent after being on the receiving end of an unpunished head shot.

The resultant attack saw Rovers move the ball through hands to give centre Ella Johnson the easiest of walk-ins on the left-hand side to give the home side a 4-0 lead on eight minutes.
Rovers had the chance to extend the lead just moments later but winger Brooke Price knocked on with the line begging, and, from that point, the Wire pack began to get a foothold. It was a spilled kick through by Magraw that bounced into the hands of prop Grace Burnett to power over and draw the scores level on 20 minutes.
Featherstone restored their lead on the half hour mark when Elland Lamb stretched over in the right-hand corner then converted superbly from the touchline, but, undeterred, the Wire fought hard to get back into the game with centre Nicole Barnett adjudged to have grounded the ball just short of the line then the first of Ellison’s efforts disallowed after a great run by Simpson in the dying moments of the half.

Emily Baggaley try

Wire enjoyed the brighter start to the second half, Ellison having her second try ruled out after another defence splitting run from Simpson, but they also had a stroke of luck after Rovers’ stand-off Tally Bryer beat Magraw to a kick through from Olivia Grace but was adjudged to have knocked on over the line.
The visitors drew level after great runs from Ellie Jelves and Lucy Johnson set up great field position for Emily Baggaley – on loan from St Helens – to cross under the posts and give Magraw the easiest of conversions.

There was still time for Ellison’s third effort to be ruled out before Bell’s piece of magic set up Simpson for what proved to be the decisive score – and seal the points for Wire – just after the hour mark.

Warrington Wolves
Charlize Magraw
Albany Coates
Nicole Barnett
Samantha Simpson
Lauren Ellison
Millie Bell
Louise Fellingham
Abigail Latchford
Jasmine Wilson
Grace Burnett
Katie-May Williams
Emily Baggaley
Emily Downs
Ellie Jelves
Lucy Johnson
Megan Condliffe
Helena Turner
18th player
Kimberley Seddon

Featherstone Rovers
Francesca Copley
Elland Lamb
Chloe Billington
Ella Johnson
Brooke Price
Tally Bryer
Olivia Grace
Shanelle Mannion
Charley Blackburn
Gabrielle Harrison
Kacey Davies
Hannah Watt
Danielle Waters
Brogan Kennedy
Emillie Holmes
Alyssa Courtney
Chloe Smith
18th player
Kirsty Higo


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