Rugby League: Wolves up and running with first win of season.
HULL KR 12
PAUL JOHNSON claimed two tries as Warrington finally secured their first engage Super League win of the season at the sixth attempt.
The Wolves looked a different team from the one that has struggled throughout the opening weeks of the campaign as they ground down Hull KR at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Ben Harrison set Tony Smith's side on the way with an early try while Michael Monaghan and the much-maligned Matt King also got on the scoresheet in a vastly-improved display.
Rovers, who missed the chance to move within a point of leaders Leeds, claimed consolations through Peter Fox and Makali Aizue.
With his side having lost their first five, new coach Smith decided to shake things up for his third game in charge by leaving talisman Lee Briers on the bench.
Martin Gleeson, as he occasionally has under Smith for England, switched to stand-off.
Warrington started well and Harrison crashed over for the opening try after just six minutes following a penalty conceded by Chaz I'Anson.
Rovers initially responded well to force two drop-outs while a Michael Dobson kick almost created a try for Ben Galea but the second row could not gather.
Warrington showed defensive solidity lacking in their 60-8 thrashing at Harlequins last week to weather the storm and extend their advantage on the half-hour.
Chris Hicks had already gone close when Chris Riley kept alive another slick move with a brilliant one-handed take.
King was stopped just short of the line but the ball was quickly recycled and Monaghan broke through a number of challenges to reach the line.
It almost immediately got worse for Rovers but full-back Ben Cockayne produced a brilliant tackle to deny Paul Wood.
Yet theWolves were determined to make the most of their pressure and they broke through again in first-half injury time by working the ball wide to Johnson.
Hicks' second goal gave Warrington a comfortable 16-0 lead at the break but they were on the defensive soon after the restart as Riley hauled down Galea.
Both sides then went close to scoring in a thrilling passage of play as first King intercepted inside his own half and carried deep into Rovers territory.
Warrington switched play to the opposite wing but Hicks was kept out in the corner by Fox.
Rovers powered back down the other end but Aizue lost possession close to the line.
Warrington scored again just before the hour as Briers, off the bench, delicately chipped the defence for Johnson to dive and catch one-handed for a spectacular score.
Rovers broke their duck as Fox touched down a Dobson kick but there was to be no fightback.
King, who apologised after making an offensive gesture at frustrated fans last week, finished on a high by plucking a Briers kick from the air to score.
Aizue took advantage of a rare gap in the Wolves defence to cut the deficit with Dobson kicking a second goal, but it was too little too late.
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|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Mar 23, 2009|
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