Warrington fortunate to beat brave Broncos

Warrington survived embarrassment as they escaped the capital with a 40-38 victory against a very impressive London Broncos outfit.

Jarrod Sammut scored a hat-trick in a points fest and the hosts were denied a penalty in the final seconds when Ryan Atkins escaped punishment for a late tackle.

London led 14-0 in the first half but tries either side of the break from the visitors knocked the stuffing out of the Championship side, who proceeded to concede four quick tries.

However, they came back to score three tries of their own in the last 10 minutes to set up an epic finish, but they fell agonisingly short against their Super League opponents.

London opened the scoring when former Warrington winger Rhys Williams made a break from his own half to set up field position, and the Broncos kept their cool to switch the ball to the other side for Kieran Dixon to score.

Sammut hit the post with the touchline conversion but London held a 4-0 lead after three minutes.

Incredibly, the home side scored again within the first 10 minutes and it was that man Williams who got it as he found space out wide following a superb pass from Elliot Kear. Sammut was again unable to add the extras, 8-0.

Things got even better for London inside the first quarter as forward Eddie Battye broke through before offloading to Sammut who touched down under the posts. The mercurial half-back converted his own score to make it 14-0.

The Broncos were full value for their lead but Warrington finally got on the board as the half-hour mark approached when Dixon misjudged a high kick from Kevin Brown, allowing Tom Lineham the easiest try of his career.

As half-time approached the visitors got a huge stroke of luck as a Broncos penalty kick for touch was kept in by Matty Russell, however replays showed his foot was in touch.

From the resulting set, Tony Smith’s side won a penalty and from the next set they scored through George King. Patton’s conversion sending the Wolves into half-time just four points adrift.

The second half started as the first ended, with Warrington scoring, Jack Hughes sending Peta Hiku over with Patton’s conversion putting the Wire in front for the first time.

Now with momentum, they started to stamp their authority on the game and half-back Brown produced a trademark show and go to extend the lead to eight points.

It was an electric start to the second half from Warrington and they added another four-pointer as Stefan Ratchford broke through after a offload from Chris Hill, with Patton supporting to score under the posts.

Just a minute later and they were over again as Ben Westwood twisted his way over and again Patton was able to convert to take the score out to 14-34.

It was becoming a points fest now as the Broncos responded through Sammut, the Maltese half-back weaving his way through before reaching over the line.

The joy was short lived though as Brown went in for his second to make it 20-40 and surely put the game beyond the brave Broncos.

However, London came back with a quick-fire double as Sammut completed his hat-trick and Andy Ackers powered over to reduce the deficit to eight points with eight minutes remaining.

And then the game was given the grand stand finish it deserved when with three minutes left Dixon ran through to score, with Sammut converting to make it 38-40.

Unfortunately though London were unable to find another score and they could have had a penalty in the final seconds after a late tackle by Atkins, but it wasn’t given and they were edged out in a quite incredible game at Trailfinders Sports Ground.

Broncos: Walker, WIlliams, Kear, Pewhairangi, Dixon, Sammut, Barthau, Battye, Ackers, Loane, Gee, Pitts, Davis. Interchange: Spencer, Cunningham, Garside, Evans.

Wolves: Ratchford, Russell, Hiku, Atkins, Lineham, Patton, Brown, Hill, Smith, Sims, Jullien, Hughes, Westwood. Interchange: Gidley, King, Savelio, Philbin.