Anselmians push on with win over Warrington


The game started brightly enough with James Whitehouse gathering a smart chip ahead from Captain, Liam Sadler, to score after just 2 minutes with Dai Morley adding the extra 2 points. 

The large band of away supporters were already expecting another big points-difference win. But, the “Wire” were quick to strike back with a try and a penalty to take an 8-7 lead after 9 and 14 minutes respectively.

Worryingly, the Warrington scrummage was on top at this stage, with Saints losing the first put-in against the head and under pressure from the hosts’ solid pack.  Anselmians’ player-coach and tight head took the bold decision to swap things round and brought in John Bonner and the bulky Fred Clark.

Saints didn’t win many penalties but, from one of the few, they elected for a line-out 15 yards out and mauled across the line for Will Grabe to score his first of a brace for the afternoon to edge the visitors’ noses in front at 08-12 after 20 minutes. Grabe scored again 15 minutes later but Warrington took advantage of yet another penalty to narrow the margin at halftime to 11-17.

Half Time: 11-17

Two minutes into the second period, Tommy Banks charged over for Saints (converted by Morley) and, at 11-24, it seemed that Saints would get into gear, pick up the pace and start to overwhelm The Wire as they are used to doing so often, this season. 

But, yellow cards for Derek Salisbury and John Bonner within a minute of each other reduced the visitors to 13 men.  It was perhaps fortunate that losing 2 from the front row relegated the scrums to non-contested which took some pressure off Saints. Indeed, when Saints were, rarely, able to break out of defence during these long 10 minutes, James Otutaha pounced on a sly chip from Andy Cummings to score under the posts for Dai Morley to convert.

No sooner were Saints restored to 15 than hooker, Dan Salisbury, and his counterpart were both yellow-carded.  Warrington seemed to respond better to being a man down and scored a converted try on 70 minutes and another 7 minutes later to reduce the deficit to win a bonus point at 25-31.

Saints were under pressure now and Warrington had their tails up.  The away spectators were concerned that the longer this game went on, the stronger Warrington were becoming and were thankful for the final whistle. 

Full Time: 25 – 31

It is worthy of note that Saints conceded 18 penalties to 7; and 3 yellows to 1. All of which contributed to the balance of this contest.

The players, management and supporters will all be looking forward to next week’s visit by Keswick, who also caused problems for Saints away in Cumbria, in anticipation of a strong home performance which we have all come to expect from, hopefully, our title-winning team!

15 Jack Stride
14 Luke Turner
13 James Hudson
12 Jamie Abram
11 Max Caldwell
10 Matthew Beeley
9 Oliver Hudson
1 Thomas Green
2 Christian White
3 Samuel Bennett
4 Phillip Lynch
5 James Brazendale
6 Jonathon Evans
7 William Morgan
8 Joshua Downes
Warrington Subs
S1 Andrew Kellett
S2 Harry Stevens
S3 Patrick Reardon

15 Andrew Cummings
14 James Whitehouse
13 Thomas Banks
12 Ransford Otutaha
11 Adam Bramhall
10 David Morley
9 Liam Sadler
1 Stephen Brooks
2 Daniel Salisbury
3 Derek Salisbury
4 Jack Richards
5 Niall Cavanagh
6 William Grabe
7 Thomas Gilbert
8 Ewan Nolan
Anselmians Subs
S1 Jonathan Bonner
S2 Fred Clark
S3 Paul Sherlock

Anselmians 1st XV’s next game is home to Keswick on Saturday 29 January for a 2.15pm kick-off.

Image credit: Derek Salisbury Snr

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