Quins RL stormed to a first ever win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium last night, with a superb defensive effort restricting Warrington Wolves to just 4 points in eighty minutes.
The opening stages of the game saw both sides cagily test out the other’s defences before Matt Gafa broke the deadlock with the opening try after eighteen minutes, halfback Mark McLinden brushed off the efforts of Wolves skipper Lee Briers to guide in rangy wingman Gafa. Quins skipper Rob Purdham was off target with the conversion to leave the score at 0 – 4.
The visitors lead lasted about four minutes before Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson, who was arguably Warrington’s greatest threat throughout the game, glided over to level the scores. Briers also missed the conversion keeping the scores level at 4 – 4.
Just after the half hour mark Purdham extended his side’s lead with another try, but was unable to add the extra 2 points. Purdham was on target with the boot five minutes later when interchange hooker Julian Rinaldi weaved his way over the try line, sending the Quins into halftime with a well earned 4 – 14 lead.
After the break Wolves came out showing far more enthusiasm than in the first half and pushed the Quins defence hard. To their credit the visiting side soaked up wave after wave of pressure from an increasingly frustrated home side, which inevitably started to lead to relieving penalties as the Warrington discipline started to waver. The resoluteness of the Quins defence eventually paid off with a penalty goal from Purdham pushing the score to 4 – 16 with five minutes to go, before Paul Sykes added a late drop goal to finalise matters at 4 – 17.
Afterwards coach Brian McDermott was justifiably proud of a fantastic team effort, and will have been pleased not only by the way his charges maintained their intensity levels in defence but also by the way all the team members worked for each other.
Warrington: (4) 4
Harlequins RL: (14) 17
Tries: Gafa, Purdham, Rinaldi
Goals: Purdham 2
Drop Goals: Sykes